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Treatment for Chemsex Addiction

Chemsex, also called Party and Play (PnP) or wired play, is sex that involves using illicit drugs like methamphetamine, ketamine, or ecstasy to enhance sexual pleasure and reduce inhibitions. It’s popular in sex clubs and has a culture all its own. In the last decade there has been a surge in popularity of drugs associated with Party ’n’ Play, alongside hook-up apps like Grindr and Tinder. Drugs used in chemsex come with risks, including overdose and chemical dependency.

If you or someone you know is struggling with chemsex addiction—meaning you feel a compulsive urge to engage in sex with substances, even when it’s negatively impacting your life or putting you in danger—it’s time to get help. 

The compassionate team at Adelante Recovery Centers offers comprehensive treatment for chemsex addiction and drug addiction in Newport Beach, CA. While Party and Play is often associated with the LGBTQ community, particularly gay men, it’s not limited to these groups. Adelante Recovery tailors our treatment programs to the needs of each client. For those in the LGBTQ community, we offer culturally competent LGBTQ rehab and counseling services. We strive to create a safe, supportive space where everyone feels welcomed.

Is chemsex addictive?

Chemsex involves using one or more drugs specifically to enhance sexual desire and performance or reduce inhibitions. Because a person is in an altered state and receives a euphoric high from both drugs and sexual activity, chemsex can be very addictive.

The disinhibiting qualities of chemsex drugs may lead people to bigger risks over time or engage in dangerous sexual activities. It’s also possible to become chemically dependent on chemsex drugs, especially substances like crack cocaine and crystal meth.

chemsex addictive
stimulant drugs

Which kind of drugs are used in chemsex?

Chemsex often involves stimulant drugs like meth, cocaine, and crack cocaine. Party drugs like ecstasy (MDMA) and ketamine are also popular, along with amyl nitrates (“poppers”).

Gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB), a central nervous system depressant, is another common party drug. People use it in the chemsex scene for its sedative, euphoric, and amnesic effects. GHB can lead to drug addiction when used repeatedly in high doses. It’s also possible to overdose on GHB.

All these drugs—often referred to as “chems”—have one thing in common: their disinhibiting effects on sexual behavior.

Signs & Symptoms of Chemsex addiction

Because of the complexity of chemsex addiction, addressing it often requires a multifaceted approach that includes medical treatment for substance dependence, psychological support to address the underlying issues contributing to drug use and risky sexual behaviors, and social support to help individuals rebuild relationships and find healthier ways to engage in sexual activity.

Symptoms of Chemsex addiction

Psychological Dependence

The intense pleasure or euphoria these drugs provide during sexual activities can lead to psychological dependence. Users may begin to feel that they cannot enjoy sex without the aid of these substances, which reinforces the cycle of use.

Risk-Taking Behavior

Users may experience a decrease in inhibitions and engage in risky sexual behaviors they would not typically consider while sober, such as unprotected sex or sex with multiple partners.

Physical Health Effects

Chemsex can have adverse effects on physical health, including dehydration, overheating, cardiovascular issues, and the potential for overdose or adverse reactions to the drugs used.

Mental Health Complications

Prolonged engagement in chemsex can contribute to mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, paranoia, and cognitive impairment, affecting overall psychological well-being.

Treatment for Chemsex Addiction at Adelante Recovery Centers

Treatment for Chemsex Addiction at Adelante Recovery Centers

The team at Adelante Recovery offers evidence-based treatment for chemsex addiction. Our experienced staff includes medical personnel, addiction experts, and behavioral health specialists, who work together to create sex addiction rehab programs tailored to your specific needs.

We offer the many life-changing services at our Orange County rehab center in Newport Beach, CA.

Medically Assisted Detox

Adelante Recovery is staffed by a team of medical professionals that includes a physician, nurses, and addiction specialists. Detox is an important first step in the recovery process, aimed at ridding the body of chemical substances.

The team at our Orange County substance abuse treatment center monitors you closely during detox to ensure you are safe and comfortable throughout the process. Depending on the nature of the addiction, safe detoxification from substances may mean slow tapering with assistive detox medications.

Residential treatment
Residential Inpatient Treatment

Residential Treatment

Inpatient treatment provides round-the-clock care with a focus on individual counseling and group therapy. Through one-on-one sex addiction counseling sessions, you’ll explore issues that often underlie chemsex addiction, such as sexual disorders and past trauma. Group therapy sessions lay the groundwork to help you build a network of supportive peers in recovery.

We offer recreational opportunities and holistic therapies tailored to your specific needs and interests, from beach outings to yoga sessions. Our beautiful rehab center in the Corona Del Mar neighborhood of Newport Beach is comfortably appointed to feel like a home away from home.

Dual Diagnosis Care

Treating substance use disorders and mental health issues together dramatically improves a person’s chance of recovery, since these conditions often reinforce each other. We offer evidence-based dual diagnosis care for co-occurring conditions.

If you already take medications for a mental health disorder, such as anxiety or depression, our team will coordinate with your primary physician to ensure you receive appropriate care.

orange county rehab


Chemsex refers to using drugs (often stimulants like methamphetamine or cocaine, as well as depressants like GHB or ketamine) to reduce inhibitions and enhance sexual experiences. Chemsex is often done in group settings and may last for an extended period.

People who engage in chemsex are more likely to engage in risky sexual behaviors that can lead to sexually transmitted infections (STIs), unwanted pregnancy, or other health problems. Strangulation or suffocation can occur from engaging in risky forms of sex.

Mental health issues such as anxiety and depression, overdose, or other medical complications due to the combination of drugs and sexual activities are also possible. There’s also a risk of being sexually assaulted, raped, or subjected to violent sex. For some people, addiction to chemsex can make it difficult to form healthy sexual relationships.

Popular chemsex drugs include stimulants like crystal methamphetamine, cocaine, or mephedrone, as well as depressants like GHB (gamma-hydroxybutyrate) and ketamine. These drugs are chosen for their ability to enhance sexual experiences and prolong arousal.

Chemsex is not exclusive to gay men or women, but it is more prevalent within certain communities, including gay and bisexual men, and men who have sex with men (MSM). However, anyone can engage in chemsex.

If you are a member of the LGBTQ community struggling with chemsex addiction, gay rehab programs are specifically designed to meet the needs of the gay community.

People addicted to chemsex may become preoccupied with obtaining and using drugs for sexual purposes. They may neglect their responsibilities or relationships due to their drug use, and they might experience withdrawal symptoms when not using drugs. Chemsex addicts continue engaging in chemsex despite negative impacts on their health and well-being.

Get Help for Chemsex Addiction Today

The team at Adelante Recovery Centers is ready to provide you with the compassionate care you deserve. We never use dehumanizing language like “drug addicts” or “users” to describe our clients. Every person is unique with their own gifts, challenges, and personal history. We believe in a compassionate approach to care.

Get in touch with us today to learn more about PnP addiction and our treatment program for substance misuse and sex addicts.

If you’re looking for outpatient treatment, we partner with several facilities. Our staff will help you connect with a treatment facility near you.

Get Help for Chemsex Addiction Today

We want to help. Contact us today.

If you or a loved one are in need of help with addiction, contact us today. Our professional and friendly addiction specialists are able to answer your questions and get things moving in the right direction.

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