Study: PrEP Users See Decrease In Sex Addiction & Party Drug Use

(image via Depositphotos)

A new study reveals gay and bi men who use PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) report lower levels of sexual addiction (“sexual compulsivity”) and notably lower use of so-called ‘party drugs.’

Researchers at the largest STI clinic in Amsterdam tracked PrEP users over a three year period to assess how longtime use might impact mental health and addiction issues.

Those who took part in the study answered questions regarding levels of depression and/or anxiety, alcohol and drug use, and the levels (if any) they felt unable to control their sexual behavior.

While levels of alcohol use and depression remained statistically the same, PrEP users reported a significant decline (from 38 percent at baseline to 31 percent at last visit) in the use of two specific drugs: ecstasy (MDMA) and nitrates (poppers).

Sexual compulsivity also showed a notable decrease  – from 23 percent to 10 percent at last visit.

The term refers to sexual fantasies or behaviors that cause folks to act out in ways that can be damaging to multiple aspects of life like work, friendships, and personal health.

The researchers remarked that “the simultaneous decrease in drug use disorder and sexual compulsivity was unexpected.”

Gus Cairns of AIDSMAP writes: “They hypothesise that PrEP relieved its users of the anxiety of catching HIV and that, in turn, this made them feel more in charge of their sexual behaviour (so less compulsive) and less in need of drugs to counteract the inhibiting effect of anxiety.”

The researchers take care not to say that PrEP was specifically the cause of improvements in addiction and mental health. Rather, they note that just being a part of the study, and therefore paying attention to these indicators, probably impacted the participants’ outlook.

(Source: AIDSMAP)

West Virginia Sees Surprise Results In Welfare Drug Testing

Back in 2015, a representative for the National Conference of State Legislatures informed lawmakers in West Virginia that drug testing of low-income people applying for welfare aid historically results in very few positive tests.

But, the West Virginia lawmakers went on to pass a welfare drug-testing law by a large margin anyway in the next legislative sessions.

Those who supported the bill insisted the bill would help get those using drugs into treatment. Opponents decried the effort saying it unfairly stereotyped low-income folks.

At the time, it was estimated that the testing, which would cost about $50,000 a year, would flag about 390 people in the first year. That would amount to about 32 positive tests a month with an annual cost about $128 per positive test.

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources began drug testing some applicants last October.

Between then and January 5 of this year, 873 folks applied for help, with 107 being asked to test for drug use based on a questionnaire.

The results?

A total of four applicants tested positive for drug use. At that rate, the state could expect to find 24 positive tests a year. That would average over $2,000 per positive test.

Draw your own conclusions.

More info at the

Alabama: Judge Roy Moore’s Son Busted Third Time On Drug Charges

The son of Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore – bastion of high morals – was arrested and charged with drug possession near the scene of an attempted break-in, reports.

According to court documents, officers responded to the 1200 block of Allen Street in Troy to a report of an attempted home break-in. They found five men, including Moore, outside near a pickup truck that smelled strongly of marijuana.

After the men said there were no drugs in the vehicle, officers searched the truck and found a bag of marijuana in the glove compartment, along with Moore’s passport. Several Xanax pills also were found in the bag.

Moore was arrested and taken to the city jail. He was released on bond totaling $8,500.

Moore apparently posted on his Facebook page that the arrest was bogus and he is not a drug user.

This is his third arrest on drug charges.

Moore was charged with possession of marijuana in the second degree, a Class A misdemeanor, and possession of a controlled substance, a Class C felony.

A C class felony in Alabama is punishable by no less than one year and one day and no more than 10 years.

We’ll see if that happens…

(h/t JMG)

Florida GOP Congressman Trey Radel announces resignation from US House

Freshman GOP Congressman Trey Radel of Florida has announced he will resign effective today from the US House of Representatives.

The resignation would seem directly tied to his arrest for cocaine possession last October and subsequent time spent in drug rehab. He returned to his duties as congressman earlier this month on January 7th.

From his resignation letter sent to Speaker of the House John Boehner:

Unfortunately, some of my struggles had serious consequences. While I have dealt with those issues on a personal level, it is my belief that professionally I cannot fully and effectively serve as a United States Representatives to the place I love and call home, Southwest Florida.

I hereby submit this letter of resignation as the Representative of the 19th District of Florida, effective 6:30 pm, Eastern Standard Time, January 27, 2014. Please find the attached letter I have submitted to Governor Rick Scott.

The 37 year old Radel plead guilty to the drug charges and was sentenced to one year’s probation.

Reports say many in the Republican party were anxious for Redel to resign, and a super PAC had raised over $1 million to challenge him in this fall’s primaries.


Congressman Radel charged with cocaine possession

Freshman US House Rep. Trey Radel (R-FL) has been charged with cocaine possession:

Radel, 37, was charged with misdemeanor possession of cocaine in D.C. Superior Court on Tuesday. He is scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday.

Radel faces a maximum of 180 days in jail, as well as a possible fine up to $1,000.

The Florida Republican is a former journalist, TV anchor and radio talk-show host. He never held elective office before winning his House seat last November.

Canadian health official: Ecstasy is safe to take

The chief health officer of British Columbia said today that ecstasy, or MDMA, is safe for consumption and may not have negative long-term health effects.

HOWEVER – the official, Dr. Perry Kendall, who gave interviews to several Canadian media outlets, wants to be clear about one thing: There is a big difference between pure ecstasy and the stuff that gets cut with other chemicals and makes up the vast majority of what’s sold on the street.

“Unless you are getting it from a psychiatrist in a legitimate clinical trial, at the present time, you can’t guarantee what’s in it, how much there is, or its safety, so I would say, as we have said in the past: Don’t take it,” Kendall told CBC News.

As you might have inferred, ecstasy is indeed being given to volunteers in clinical settings. For that matter, so is ketamine, a club drug also known as “Special K” that’s shown promise in treating severe depression, as NPR’s Jon Hamilton has reported.

Canada has long had a more lenient attitude toward drugs. Vancouver’s city council is currently debating marijuana decriminalization; advocates for decriminalization say the illegal drug trade fuels violence in the city.

Kendall told media outlets that if ecstasy were legalized, it would also take control out of the hands of criminals and give the government the chance to regulate the trade.

Other physicians are exploring the use of MDMA for conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder.

More at NPR