The High Life – Our Approach

Health Initiative for Men and YouthCO have teamed up to bring you the High Life – an information resource for gay guys about club and party drugs.

We take a non-judgmental, harm reduction* approach to health promotion. We don’t encourage drug use but we know that it is a reality within our community.

We want you to have accurate, relevant health information regarding substance use. If you’re going to get high, you should be smart about it.

What we know

  • Substance use is common in our community.
  • Alcohol and marijuana are the most commonly used substances by gay men in Vancouver.
  • More than 70 percent of gay men have used alcohol before sex in the last six months.
  • Gay guys get high for many reasons, from pleasure to escapism.

Why guys get high

Traditionally, the gay scene has largely been organized around parties and clubs where alcohol and drugs are commonly used. These days, gay guys get high…

  • to increase sexual pleasure, create out-of-body experiences, and enhance sensations
  • to feel less inhibited, and more relaxed, sociable and courageous
  • as part of ritualistic or habitual behaviours
  • to cope with shame, feeling out of place, and dislocation
  • to deal with issues related to stigma, homophobia, and coming out
  • to self-medicate to deal with anxiety, depression, and isolation

*Harm reduction moves people away from the most risky behavior and towards safer practices. Reducing drug amounts and learning how to use drugs safely will lower your risk.