OUTthink – Stuart Fenton – Talking about Addiction
Talking About Addiction
Drug addiction, especially ice addiction, has sadly become a little more commonplace in the LGBT community. Chemsex amongst gay men has seen an increase in recent years, usually involving a mix of methamphetamines, GHB and Viagra resulting in ‘play’ that could potentially go on for days.
For some gay men, despite doing it on a weekly basis, they believe they’re still in control. For others, they recognise just how out of control they actually are and know that they need to stop to reclaim their lives. There are functioning addicts and there are those who will go for a bender and then need days in bed before they can do anything. The question remains though – when does a user go from being a user to becoming an addict, and is this something that they recognise within themselves or is it something that is greeted with denial and secrecy.
While there is a lot of talk around ice use within the LGBT community, those who indulge in the activity tend to feel like it is there ‘shameful little secret’, and this lack of willingness to discuss it and the impact on their lives contributes towards the feelings of shame and fear of others reaction.
This episode of OUTthink explores addiction, the impact and the steps to recovery. We’ll discuss what it is like for the addict themselves as well as for their loved ones who might be concerned about what is happening to them.
About Stuart Fenton
Stuart is a clinical psychotherapist and counsellor who has the added experience of being a recovering drug addict and alcoholic. His experience with an addiction to ice and alcohol means that his work with his clients comes from a place of first-hand experience and his ability to empathize with what they’ve been going through.
In 2003 Stuart spent 28 days in intensive treatment at the Phoenix Unit at Manly for addiction to alcohol and drugs including anti-depressants. Following this, he went into long-term treatment where he stayed for 10 months until October 2003. Since then he has maintained total abstinence from all mood and mind-altering substances.
Current one of the head therapists at RESORT 12, an LGBT specific 20-bed facility based in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The facility caters for individuals with addiction problems, trauma, mental health concerns, Chemsex issues, body image issues, self-esteem, sexuality and relationship problems.
For more information on Stu Fenton, check out his website here.
About OUTthink – An LGBT Podcast
OUTthink is a fortnightly podcast aimed at shining a light on topics of mental health and mental well-being relating to the LGBTQIA+ community. As a community, we need to be able to discuss topics that are uniquely related to the gay, lesbian, transgender and the many diverse labels in-between, that impact on our psychological well-being.
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