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Dublin: 8 °C Saturday 8 August, 2020

The Explainer: Why is chemsex in the news in Ireland and the UK?

We look at what chemsex is, and the role the drugs GHB and crystal meth play in it.

THE USE OF the highly addictive drug GHB is on the rise in Ireland – so much so that referrals for detoxification have jumped by 55% this year.

The drug is connected to chemsex, a practice usually associated with men who have sex with men. It often involves multiple people and can lead to sexual encounters that last for hours or days. 

At, our reporter Órla Ryan has been keeping up with the latest on the situation with chemsex and the connected issues with the drug GHB:

The situation around chemsex and GHB are what we explore in this week’s The Explainer.

A chemsex working group has been set up in Dublin to bring together the different experts who deal with people who take part in chemsex and use GHB – from sexual health groups to drug taskforces.

Two of the members of that working group, Dr Kiran Santlal, registrar in psychiatry of substance misuse at the National Drug Treatment Centre, and Graham Ryall, treatment services coordinator at the Rialto Community Drug Team, join Órla Ryan and presenter Sinéad O’Carroll to discuss the topic. 

Source: The Explainer/SoundCloud

This episode was put together by presenter Sinéad O’Carroll, producer Aoife Barry, assistant producer and technical operator Nicky Ryan, and executive producer Christine Bohan. Reporter was Órla Ryan. Design by Palash Somani.

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