We’ve reached another important milestone in the creation of a handbook for counselors, psychotherapists, doctors, and sexologists who provide support for chemsex in the framework of project Bridging the gaps – effective sex treatment response for LGBTI communities affected by problematic chemsex as a way towards good sexual health.
Our team of experts, Iryna Zarubina, MPH, Qualitative research lead, Nikolay Lunchenkov, M.D., M.H.Sc., Qualitative research advisor, and Michal Pawlega, MEd, PsyT, PGD Sexology, Principal investigator, recently completed an online training program for community researchers. It presented the innovative research approach used in the project, based on community-based participatory research (CBPR). The approach engages community members as active partners in the research process, leading to more relevant and impactful results that address community needs.
These researchers will play a vital role in collecting data from chemsex users and support staff in Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, and Ukraine. By understanding their needs and experiences, we can improve our understanding of how to best address the sober sex journey in the guide.
While many programs aim to help users reduce or stop their substance use, it is crucial to address the issue of losing the ability to enjoy sober experiences. We believe this initiative makes significant progress in our efforts to help individuals recover from chemsex.
AFEW International is leading this initiative in collaboration with ECOM, Kyrgyz Indigo, and HPLGBT. We are grateful for the support and funding provided by Share-net International, the world’s leading knowledge platform for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR). We aim that by the end of this year, we will be publishing the only manual in Europe that guides professionals on how to help individuals regain the pleasure of sober experiences after a period of intensive chemsex use. By developing a comprehensive handbook and gathering valuable insights from chemsex users and support staff, we aim to provide better support and guidance to those in need. Stay tuned for the release of our manual later this year!