The Gay Health Network (GHN) welcomes the National Drug Strategy, the first of its kind to specifically mention the need for targeted harm-reduction, education and prevention measures that are tailored towards the LGBTI community.
GHN particularly welcomes the commitment to improve the capacity of services to accommodate the needs of drug users from specific communities, of which LGBTI people are included.
The strategy includes an action point for the need to provide addiction supports in non-traditional settings with particular reference to chemsex. GHN hopes this signals a widening of resource provision for services attempting to bridge the gap between sexual, mental and addiction health.
In addition, GHN also welcomes the commitment to strengthen early harm reduction responses to current and emerging trends and patterns of drug use. Specific reference is made to the GHB/GBL harm reduction campaign, a joint partnership of GHN, GMHS, Drugs.ie, HIV Ireland & Gay Switchboard Ireland as an example of successfully highlighting drug use patterns and issues among high-risk groups.
GHN is pleased to see chemsex included as a topic for consideration as part of a working group examining the evidence base for early harm reduction responses to current and emerging trends. The establishment of the working group is also a strategic action to be achieved between 2017 and 2020.