Alcohol & Other Drugs

Drug use is a reality both in and out of the sex industry. So if you do take drugs—do it safely! Beware of getting into the habit of drinking or taking drugs to handle your problems or work stress. Using them when you are working can become a serious problem—on the job and if you try to stop.

Drug use and sex work

Sometimes a job will involve the option of using alcohol and/or drugs, either by the client, you or both. Use can relax people or enhance sex. But for some, the wrong amount or combinations can reduce physical and emotional control or bring on negative health problems—including the risk of overdose.

Always negotiate your service before using any substances and stick to what you have agreed. It is a good idea to use less when you are working than if you were using in a social situation.

Using while working can put you at risk

Intoxication can reduce your ability to stay in control. If you are out of it and you go to work—especially on the streets or on escort jobs—you can put your health and safety at risk. Be aware that if clients know you use drugs they may try to tempt you with drugs as payment and you might miss out on the cash you need.

Being intoxicated may also weaken your resolve, and make it harder for you to stick to your prices and limits. It is easier to be in control when you are not intoxicated.

Mixing drugs is not a good idea

Be aware of mixing drugs—or using alcohol on top of drugs—because this can alter the desired effect of what you have taken. The likelihood of overdose is also increased. Mixing drugs can get pretty dangerous. Some drugs take time to come on and you can’t judge the effects they will have.

Try small amounts first

It is important to remember that we are all different and what is okay for someone else may be way too much for you. If you get drugs from a new supplier, try a small amount first. If you haven’t used for a while, use less—your tolerance will have dropped and you will need less to get off.

Safer injecting

Try to inject into a different spot for every hit. Never use someone else’s fit or share equipment. Clean the spot you are going to inject into with a swab. Wash your hands before and after.

Use a new fit for every hit, or save your own fits for your use only. If you are going to re-use your fit, make sure you wash the blood out straight away with cold water, so that the blood doesn’t clot in the needle. You can use your bottle or ampoule of sterile water to clean your fit. Never share water with anyone else. Only use an ampoule of water once.

If you want to stop using

If you want to stop using it is best to talk to someone about it. There are a lot of options for stopping or cutting down. You can start by talking to someone at the local needle exchange, an outreach worker or someone from your local community health centre. They can tell you the best places to go in your area.

You can also ring the Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS) for information about services throughout NSW, or talk to someone at SWOP who can put you in touch with user and worker friendly organisations.