This workshop will be divided into two parts. The first will cover general issues of substance use in this population, starting with a quick review of the various “letters” in the workshop’s title. Epidemiological trends will be considered, followed by a review or risk factors such as adverse childhood experiences and compound stigma. The first hour will conclude with an overview of best practices for treatment. The second hour focuses on chemsex and a review of this addictive behavior, described as fused drug and sexual acting out. At-risk populations will be reviewed, including psychosocial drivers of the behavior, along with epidemiological trends, a review of the brain’s reward circuitry, the special role of methamphetamine, and special treatment considerations when working with this population, concluding with tips to help clients reintegrate healthy sexuality in recovery.
- Participants will describe 4 underlying biopsyochosocial issues for sexual minorities and how they impact both the risk for addiction and best practices for treatment.
- Participants will be able to explain the role of dopamine and reward circuitry in the fusion of various addictive behaviors and how this impacts treatment.
PART 1 Overview of Substance Use in this Population
- Review of the “letters”
- Epidemiological trends
- Drug trends and patterns for each subgroup
- Risk Factors
- Impact of adverse childhood experiences
- Trauma and addiction in this population
- The role of multiple stigmatized identities
- Best Practices for treatment
PART 2 Chemsex
A, Chemsex: who and what
- Epidemiological trends
- Global patterns
- Syndemic with HIV in certain populations
- Production trends, purity and addiction.
- Psychosocial aspects of at-risk MSM
- Reward Circuity
- Natural and unnatural rewards
- Brief review of the neurobiology of addition
- Meth and the hijacking of the reward circuitry
- The special case of methamphetamine
- How meth functions in the brain
- Physical and psychological effects
- The fusion of drugs and sexual behavior
- Brain impact, drug triggers and relapse
- Clinical strategies for recovery and healthy sexuality
- Untangling meth, sex and intimacy
- Adapting for brain healing (CBT “light,” etc)
- Tips for relapse prevention
David Fawcett PhD, LCSW is a social worker, clinical sexologist and CSAT who has worked in addictions and mental health for over three decades. Since 2000 he has specialized in treating fused drug use and sexual behavior (“chemsex”) and has become a leading authority on achieving both chemsex sobriety and integrating healthy sex and intimacy in recovery.
He is the author of Lust, Men, and Meth: A Gay Man’s Guide to Sex and Recovery (Healing Path Press 2015) which explores the intersection of gay men, drug use, and high-risk sexual behavior. The book was named “2016 Best Nonfiction Literature” by POZ magazine. He is also Vice President for Clinical Programming at Seeking Integrity LLC where he, in collaboration with Dr. Rob Weiss, develops and operates treatment programs for sex and porn addiction and chemsex. Seeking Integrity currently operates a program in Los Angeles. David is highly-regarded trainer. In the past year he has presented keynotes at the Finding Freedom (the LGBT addictions conference) and for the California Consortium of Addictions Programs and Professionals. In the past two years he has also presented at NCAD, International Institute for Trauma and Addictions Professionals (IITAP), the San Diego Summit of the Institute on Violence, Abuse and Trauma, the Cape Cod Addictions Symposium, and the West Coast Symposium on Addictive Disorders among many hours.
He is the producer of the podcast “Sex, Love, and Addiction: Healing Conversations for Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Men” and, In 2018, David co-produced the award-winning documentary Crystal City which follows the journeys of several men in recovery from chemsex in New York. He is a regular contributor to TheBody.com and TheBodyPRO.com and he has been published in Huffington Post, Positively Aware, and other journals.