Sexual health and addiction services launch ‘G’ harm reduction resources
G harm reduction
Sexual health and addiction services in Ireland have teamed up to produce G harm reduction resources aimed to help address increasing use of the drug ‘G’.
G, also known as GHB, GBL or Liquid E, is a drug which can give a high, or if too much is consumed it can cause sedation, loss of consciousness, coma, or even death.
The initiative is in response to a number of people presenting to services for G use, with some turning up in A&E having overdosed on the drug.
The resources include a fact sheet, a poster, a web page and a ‘G’ card.
Speaking about the initiative, Dr Eamon Keenan, National Clinical Lead for HSE Addiction Services, said:
“The HSE addiction services are pleased to be involved in developing this harm reduction message around the emerging use of ‘G’ drugs in the target population. Collaboration between services and agencies has highlighted the significant risk posed by these drugs particularly that of overdose.
"The fact that there is only a very small difference between a dose used for recreational purposes and a dose that can cause overdose cannot be emphasised strongly enough. Overdose will require medical intervention and emergency services need to be prepared for this, the ‘G’ card will help in this regard by alerting services to the possibility of ‘G’ toxicity. Dependence can also develop over a relatively short period of time.”
G use has been associated with the Chemsex scene among the gay community in Ireland and a team of outreach workers from the Gay Men’s Health Service are distributing the posters in bars, clubs and sex-on-premises venues.
Siobhan O’Dea, manager of the Gay Men’s Health Service, Dublin is keen to highlight the supports which exist, she said:
“The Gay Men’s Health Service is a friendly, confidential, non-judgemental service and we are happy for people to come and talk to us or ask for support if they need it. We would also encourage people to have regular STI screening if they are taking part in Chemsex and taking risks as a result.”
Those involved are Ana Liffey Drug Project, Drugs.ie, Gay Switichboard Ireland, Gay Men’s Health Service, HIV Ireland, HSE National Social Inclusion Office, HSE Public Health, and Rialto Community Drug Team.