If you're doing chems, the best way to stay safe is to know more about what you're taking.

Find out everything you need to know:



G - also known as GHB and GBL - is a liquid drug that you drink.

What does it do? It increases the desire for sex and reduces inhibitions. Users can feel confident and it’s regularly used during chemsex sessions as it's one of the few drugs that enables a hard-on. 

What are the dangers? As it lowers inhibitions and makes you horny, you are more likely to put yourself at risk of HIV and other STIs by having unprotected sex. It's really easy to overdose on G, as just 0.5ml over the recommended dose can put you in a coma. Don't mix with booze as this can affect your breathing.

Is it addictive? Very. Many users find themselves dosing many times a day, just to avoid difficult and dangerous withdrawal symptoms. You can become addicted even in the space of a week if using regularly. 

Find out how to dose G properly:


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Mephedrone - also known as Meow Meow and m-cat - is a powder drug which is usually snorted and sometimes slammed.

What does it do? It makes you feel excited, energetic and generally quite bubbly. It keeps you awake and is often used for chemsex as it keeps you going.

What are the dangers? Apart from making you gurn uncontrollably, it makes you twitch and sweat, and it also narrows the veins and makes your heart pump faster. It has horrible comedowns and, if you've been up for days, can cause drug-induced psychosis. It can lower inhibitions especially when mixed with other drugs like G and crystal meth, which could put you at risk of HIV and STIs.

Is it addictive? You can become psychologically dependent on the meph, which can lead to you craving it.

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Crystal meth

Crystal meth - also known as Tina - is a powerful stimulant that comes in the shape of ice-like crystals or as a powder, and is snorted, smoked or slammed.

What does it do?
It makes you feel very horny, compulsive and it can make you feel very focused on sex. It reduces your inhibitions

What are the dangers? As it lowers your inhibitions, it can lead you to have unsafe sex and expose you to STIs, including HIV and hep C. If you share needles to inject Tina you also risk injecting HIV or hep C directly into your bloodstream. Because it keeps you awake, you can experience mild hallucinations or think you hear whispers which can become more profound the more regularly you take it. Withdrawal can include short-lived psychosis, insomnia, irritable moods and depression.

Is it addictive? Crystal meth is highly addictive.


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Cocaine is a stimulant that comes in a flaky, white and odourless powder and is usually snorted in small amounts (in a line or a bump). 

What does it do? 
It can make you feel wide awake, chatty and confident. It’s also known to make users horny but it’s harder to sustain a hard-on when high on it.

What are the dangers? Because of the way it makes you feel - confident, powerful - you could make poor choices about your sexual health, such as not using a condom. Coke also acts as an anaesthetic and some gay men put it up their bums, which makes them able to get fucked for longer. If you are not using condoms and enough lube, this can increase the chance of spreading or catching HIV and hep C.

Is it addictive? If you take coke on a regular basis, you can become psychologically addicted.


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Ketamine comes in a white powder taken in small doses, like in a bump off a key.

What does it do?
It's a strong general suppressant and anaesthetic, which can make you feel like your body and mind have been separated and you are having an out-of-body experience. It can give you a trippy feeling, although often how you are going to react to ketamine depends on the mood and environment that you are in at the time when you take it.

What are the dangers? Hallucinations and loss of feeling in parts of the body or the entire body, which is called being stuck in a k-hole. As it numbs your body, you could seriously hurt yourself and not realise until much later, and, as with most chems, it lowers your inhibitions and you may forget about using condoms and put yourself at risk of catching an STI or HIV. It’s also often used for fisting because it’s an anaesthetic and makes your brain dissociate from the pain which you would be feeling if you were to get fisted when sober.

Is it addictive? People who take it to forget their problems may find they have an issue with ketamine, much like alcohol to an alcoholic.


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MDMA is the powder version of ecstasy pills.

What does it do? It makes feelings more intense and you can experience stronger feelings of passion, love and excitement.

What are the dangers? It tends to loosen your sexual inhibitions, making you more likely to have unprotected sex. It can also make it more difficult for users to get hard and sustain a hard-on, which makes some people take it in combination with Viagra. Some users may experience paranoia and anxiety attacks when 'coming up' and depression and tiredness for a number of days when 'coming down'.

Is it addictive? It's not really known if MDMA is addictive, although some users can build up a tolerance if used regularly, as they need to take more.