[Use of psychostimulants in a sexual context: Analysis of cases reported to the French network of Addictovigilance Centers]

Therapie. 2016 Oct;71(5):447-455. doi: 10.1016/j.therap.2016.04.003. Epub 2016 Apr 26.
[Article in French]


The "SLAM" phenomenon is an increasingly popular practice, in Paris and London gay scene, defined by 3 characteristics: injection, sexual party and psychostimulant drugs. The French Medical Agency requested a risk assessment of "SLAM" and more broadly of the use of psychostimulants in a sexual context, by the analysis of complications related to this practice notified to the French Network of Addictovigilance Centers. All cases of complications related to "SLAM" practice, including cases of abuse or dependence, and somatic and psychiatric complications, were analysed. Between January 2008 to December 2013, 51 cases were collected. Users were exclusively men, with a mean age of 40 years, having psychostimulants exposure in a sexual context, mainly in men who have sex with men (MSM) context (100%, n=35). The prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection was 82% (n=32) with a high level of HIV/hepatitis C virus (HCV) co-infection (50%, n=16). The main psychostimulants reported are synthetic cathinones (89.5%). Cathinones users tended to be polydrug users: 62% also reported use other than psychoactive substances (gamma-butyrolactone [GBL], ketamine, methylenedioxyméthamphetamine [MDMA], lysergic acid diethylamide [LSD]…). The main complications were psychiatric disorders in 50% (psychotic symptoms, agitation, anxiety, suicidal ideas or attempt and forensic problems), acute intoxication in 25% (including 3 deaths), dependence and abuse in 17% and infectious complications in 8% (viral seroconversion). Health professionals as well as users should be aware of the physical (cardiovascular) and behavioural (psychic, fast dependence syndrome) toxicity of cathinones. Risk reduction policy must be targeted to the population of MSM with specific interventions both on risky sexual behavior and substance use.

Keywords: Cathinones de synthèse; Homme homosexuel; Male homosexuality; Sexuality; Sexualité; Substance-related disorders; Synthetic cathinones; Troubles liés à l’usage de substances.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • France / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology
  • Homosexuality, Male*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychotropic Drugs / adverse effects*
  • Risk-Taking*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Young Adult


  • Psychotropic Drugs