On February 9, Dr. David Fawcett presented a reading and discussion on reclaiming sex and intimacy after methamphetamine based on his book “Lust, Men, and Meth: A Gay Man’s Guide to Sex and Recovery” in Seattle. The event was a held in collaboration with Gay City and was moderated by local Seattle therapist Peter Jabin, M. Div, LMHCA. Following a 45 minute presentation based on critical information about recovery from the book, Dr. Fawcett led a lively discussion and answered questions from attendees about meth use in the gay community. Over 50 people were in attendance, filling the Calamus Auditorium to standing-room only. The number of participants is an indicator of the intensity of the meth epidemic among gay men nationwide, as well as the need for solutions. To order a copy of “Lust, Men, and Meth,” or to learn more about the book and Dr. Fawcett’s upcoming appearances, visit david-fawcett.com.
Dr. Fawcett will present a book reading and discussion followed by Q&A and refreshments on Tuesday evening, February 9, 2016 from 7:00pm to 8:30pm. The focus of the evening will be reclaiming healthy sex and intimacy after getting clean from meth. The event will take place at the Calamus Auditorium at Gay City, 517 East Pike Street, Seattle, Washington 98122. The event, moderated by Seattle psychotherapist Peter Jabin, will feature both excerpts from “Lust, Men, and Meth: A Gay Man’s Guide to Sex and Recovery,” and plenty of opportunity for lively discussion. The reading is free and open to the public.
For more information see the Facebook page here
On December 13, 2015 Dr. Fawcett presented a reading and discussion called “After Meth: Rebuilding Your Life, Intimacy and Sex” to a packed house at the Bureau of General Services Queer Division at the LGBTQ Center in New York. Based on his book “Lust, Men, and Meth: A Gay Man’s Guide to Sex and Recovery,” Fawcett outlined key points about the physiological and psychological impact of methamphetamine as well as critical skills and tools to promote recovery and healing. After his presentation and reading, Dr. Fawcett had a lively question and answer session with the attendees followed by a reception.
Portions of the workshop are available on video:
On September 26 David was honored to receive the 2015 Koch Professional of the Year award in recognition of his service to the recovering community. This award was presented in recognition of Broward National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month celebrations.
In September David returned as a trainer once again for the Positive Living conference. This conference sponsored by OASIS in Fort Walton Beach, Florida is the largest gathering of HIV+ people in the United States. This year over 400 attendees enjoyed a weekend of workshops and socialization. Based on his experience as a mental health professional and a person living with HIV, David presented a workshop on “Healthy Living and HIV.”
In May Dr. Fawcett, a recognized expert in methamphetamine in the gay community, presented a standing-room only workshop called “Meth, Men, and HIV: What Social Workers Need to Know” at Boston College’s 27th Annual Conference on Social Work and AIDS in New Orleans. This presentation provided advanced clinical training for mental health professionals who specialize in HIV and co-occurring disorders.
For anyone who has ever seen the show Intervention on cable and who is familiar with crystal meth, this is hysterical.
Imagine receiving this email: “No one wants to be the bearer of bad news but I got diagnosed with STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) and you might have one too.” This email might be from someone you know, or it could be anonymous. While unpleasant, such a message has tremendous benefit because it notifies you of possible exposure. With such knowledge you can seek early treatment and hopefully avoid having to send such an email yourself. This new service is available through Inspot, a not-for-profit agency funded by the Florida Department of Health.
New options for notifying sex partners couldn’t come at a better time. Last week a CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) report announced that syphilis cases in the US were up a staggering 15.2% over the year before, and worse, gay and bisexual men (including a disproportionate number of African-American men) accounted for a whopping 65% of those cases. These numbers represent an unfortunate continuation of a seven year rising trend in syphilis rates.
Syphilis, untreated, is dangerous enough, but it also increases exposure risk for HIV by causing breaks in the skin, giving these statistics an ominous significance. While there is a simple blood test for syphilis, the symptoms (sores on the genitals or in the mouth) often go undiagnosed and the disease is easily spread. The CDC recommends annual testing for those in a partner relationship, and every six months for others.
Why are these numbers so high for gay and bisexual men?” The CDC speculates that we are suffering from prevention fatigue (certainly true) and being less vigilant with safer sex. Dr. John Douglas, head of STD Prevention for the CDC, also suspects that a rise in serosorting, the practice of choosing sex partners with the same HIV status, plays a role. Such unprotected sex leaves men exposed to other sexually transmitted diseases like syphilis.
I suspect an additional factor: substance abuse, particularly methamphetamine. Meth is the perfect storm for STDs: it increases risky sexual behavior, leads to multiple sexual partners, and eliminates cares about protected sex. The clients I see in the Meth and Men program at Sunserve bear this out: tina, out of control sex, and STDs go together.
No one wants to tell a friend or even a trick that you have exposed them to an STD. And realistically, you may not even know his name or phone number. But chances are that if you hooked up online you can find that profile and send him (or them!) an email that can be anonymous or personalized. In Florida, you can do this knowing that no governmental authority is involved, and that there will be no reporting or follow up by the health department.
Inspot provides six templates with sharp graphics and catchy phrases (“It’s not what you brought to the party, it’s what you left with”). If you wish you can add a personal message. The site also has links for information about sexually transmitted diseases and testing locations.
Getting tested for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases is essential. Most infections occur not because people lie (although some do) but because they don’t know their status. When you get bad news don’t let embarrassment keep you from notifying someone you might have infected. Use these Inspot notification emails to help stop this cycle and keep our community healthy.
seen the scary images of methamphetamine’s toll on the body: the remnants of a
handsome face reduced to a visible skull with sunken eyes, withered skin and one
really bad case of meth mouth.
at one time widely used in drug prevention campaigns, may have had some value. For one thing, they certainly got our
attention. Until recently, many gay men
in our area were naïve about meth’s downside and its potent and destructive addictive
Florida arrived late at the meth party and
we were able to learn a great deal about the epidemic and what to expect from
gay communities on the west coast. But
even treatment professionals were unprepared and uninformed about meth’s unique
illustrations, however, also had unintended consequences. Men struggling with meth took one look and
went deeper underground. The images did
little to assist them in stopping the drug, but did a lot toward increasing their
shame about using it. Others in the
community who never tried meth were appalled that anyone would use a drug that
could do that, and a rift opened
resulting in further polarization.
Florida Meth Task Force, founded in 2003, responded to this knowledge gap by
providing “Meth 101” for over one thousand front-line professionals, including
therapists, substance abuse counselors, EMTs, law enforcement officers,
teachers, physicians, and HIV prevention workers. The
Task Force, through the cooperation of multiple agencies and the volunteer time
of many individuals, helped get the word out about the risks of meth and other
substances among gay men as well. Soon the
meth problem became increasingly obvious. People we cared for were crashing and burning
all around us and many were asking (as tweaker.org noted) “remember when sex
without speed did the trick?”
Now, no one
can claim they are unaware of meth’s inherent risks. But knowledge itself, unfortunately, is
ineffective at fighting dopamine-fueled drug cravings. Scary skull pictures do little except remind
users about the harm they are causing for themselves. While self-help groups have become
increasingly available, south Florida has needed additional meth resources, and fast.
Enter Meth and Men South Florida (M&M), a
new program of Sunserve (www.methandmen.org)
that grew out of the South Florida Meth Task Force. M&M is dedicated to the support of men
in our community struggling with the crystal meth epidemic. Their website already lists resources in
and will soon grow to include other informational pages. M&M is dedicated to filling gaps in
services and in the near future will begin a therapy group focused on sexual
issues in meth recovery, sliding-scale individual counseling, and a variety of
other events like town hall meetings.
however, the near future is just too far away. Good news! On Monday, July 14,
M&M will begin offering METH 911, a free weekly drop-in
group. METH 911, a
collaboration of Sunserve, Broward House, and the GLCC, is a confidential and non-judgmental gathering
for anyone affected by crystal meth: individuals, partners, family, and friends.
It will be held at the M Project (2645 North Andrews Avenue, Wilton Manors) every Monday evening from
6:30pm to 8:00pm. More information is
available at from SunServe at
954-548-4602 or by e-mail to .
the creepy pictures for Halloween. With
groups like METH 911 we can
face a really scary problem together and discover that action and community
trump fear every time.
HIV infection rates occur in the United
States at a far greater rate than previously thought,
according to a special HIV issue of the
Journal of the American Medical Association
released to coincide with the XVII International AIDS Conference in Mexico City. The CDC utilized new methodology and
technology which differentiates new versus long-standing infections. They determined that in 2006, an estimated
56,300 new cases of HIV infections occurred, significantly higher than the
prior estimate of 40,000 cases.
have sex with men accounted for 53% of these new cases, and African Americans,
while only 13% of the U.S. population, accounted for 45% of the cases. These statistics represent a discouraging
trend for both populations, especially for gay men who for many years saw a
steady decline in new rates of infection.
numbers are difficult to personalize and it’s extremely easy to disconnect our
daily routines from this deadly trend. But every gay man needs to ask himself “what do these numbers mean for
me?” Here are some things to consider:
1. Do I know
my status? A significant number of
new infections occur because men who are HIV positive (but don’t know it)
inadvertently infect others. Having
unprotected sex with someone who claims to be negative is foolish. Many men don’t get tested because they don’t
want to know. Others may have not yet
converted or worse, they’re not being honest. Take charge of your health – get tested.
2. Do I
engage in safer sex? Practicing
safer sex takes a little more thought and effort, but doesn’t necessarily rule
out an erotic experience. It is
important to be informed about specific high risk behaviors, and with a little
creativity something like putting on a condom can turn into a two-man operation
that enhances the mood. Use your
3. Do I
party a little too much? A major
factor behind the rise in HIV rates among gay men is substance abuse,
particularly methamphetamine. Meth
increases sexual desire while, ironically, causing erectile dysfunction. It also results in less impulse control and
inhibition which translates to risky sexual behavior. There are many men who first used “Tina” and
ended up with HIV. If you think you
might have a problem, check out Crystal Meth Anonymous (www.southfloridacma.org) or Meth and
Men South Florida (www.methandmen.org).
the big deal? Life with HIV isn’t
always as thrilling as it appears to be for the guy doing the rock climbing in
that medication ad. While living with the
virus has changed dramatically over the years, it remains a life-threatening
illness that cannot be cured. The
medications themselves can cause serious physical problems, including long term
damage to the heart, liver, and kidneys. People continue to die from AIDS. It is a big deal.
5. So what
can I do about it? Make HIV your business,
whether you are negative or positive or not sure. HIV/AIDS affects us all. Whether it’s advocating for better public
policy, or giving service to the community, or being sexually responsible,
every one of us needs to get active. Let’s make it the community norm to stay involved with the issue of HIV. This
is life and death, and we have the power to make a difference.
From the Blog
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- Fawcett Chairs SunServe Conference on HIV/AIDS and SeniorsApril 10, 2017 - 8:20 pm
Individuals over the age of 50 represent half of all people living with HIV and they face challenges from both aging and HIV. On Friday, March 31st Dr. Fawcett attended and presented at the 2017 HIV/AIDS Seniors Conference sponsored by SunServe and AIDS United. Serving as conference chair, he assembled a panel of nationally known […]
News & Events
- Learn more about David Fawcett's upcoming appearances:
- Learn more about Dr. Fawcett’s upcoming workshops and presentations.
- February 23, 2015 - David Fawcett and Kris Drumm begin an ongoing therapy group. Participation is limited - a 12 week commitment is required. Group meets Tuesday evenings 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm. For more information contact email@example.com.