3. Quitting independently

Quitting chemsex independently

    If you have concluded it is time to stop using, be prepared: know that quitting uppers like Tina, crack or 3-MMC can be tough. Stopping downers on your own is strongly discouraged.

    Quitting independently requires motivation and a lot of discipline. Seek support from family, friends or others who have experienced the same thing. If you would rather quit under professional supervision, click the button below to find professional help in your area.

    Do you have a history of psychosis, depression or suicidality?

    Quitting under professional supervision is advisable. If you really do not want that, make sure you have daily contact with someone you trust. Seek help if things are at risk of going wrong. If you are taking antidepressants, do not stop taking them under any circumstances!

    Are you physically dependent on downers such as GHB, GBL, alcohol, benzos or opiates?

    never stop using independently. Stopping on your own is dangerous and can even be fatal. Always go to a clinic to quit under supervision.

    Tips while quitting

    1. I will not use today

    Some want an immediate, complete turnaround and aim to quit forever. Others prefer to set themselves somewhat less far-reaching goals. The benefit of smaller goals is that they are more attainable, and the prospect is less deterring. Set yourself the goal to not use today. Getting through a day without using is feasible for almost everyone.

    2. Geographic fix

    Quitting often requires a rigorous change in your lifestyle. You will have to sever contacts and avoid certain places, people and things. Some people move and start over. This is a way to start with a clean slate without being constantly triggered. But beware of a geographic quick-fix. Just moving is likely not enough. Some issues cannot be solved by moving and will follow you wherever you go.

    3. Find support

    It is easier to quit if you have the support of those around you. Seek support from family and friends. Visit a support group. Support from people who have experienced the same thing can be a tremendous help.

    4. Fill your time

    Planning, using and recovering from sex dates with chems takes a lot of time. If you quit, you may suddenly find yourself with spare time on your hands, which could lead to boredom. Some people are then tempted to use again. Find other activities to occupy the freed-up time. Ask friends and family to help you fill up your weekends.

    5. Throw away everything related to chems

    Plan your last use and get rid of everything in your home related to drugs, not just the chems but also pipes, needles, filters, mirrors and tourniquets. Make sure you also check your bags and clothing.

    6. Disconnect

    Delete all dating apps from your phone. Delete and block drug-using friends and dealers from your contact list and erase your call history. Get a new phone number and a new email address, if necessary. Delete all your old social media accounts. In other words, make sure drug-using contacts can no longer contact you, and you cannot contact them. Do this with a friend, if necessary. Saying goodbye to your “old self” can be very difficult.

    7. Alcohol and cannabis

    Some people alleviate the first symptoms of withdrawal by drinking or smoking cannabis. This can be somewhat soothing because you become hazy. However, the haziness can trigger you and decrease your resistance to cravings. Many slip-ups begin with using alcohol or cannabis.

    8. Relapse is not the end of the quitting process

    You may not manage to quit successfully in the long-term on your first attempt. Believe us when we say you are not alone. Remember that relapse is part of the quitting process for many people, especially in the beginning. Keep trying until you succeed.

    9. Sabotaging thoughts

    You will probably have sabotaging thoughts throughout your quitting process. Your drug-obsessed mind will continuously try to get you to use again. Things like, ‘my usage is not that bad’, ‘I don’t really have a problem’ or ‘I deserve a pipe now’. It may help to name that temptation within yourself. Something like, ‘the monster is making me think I have earned a snort, smoke or shot’. This makes it easier to recognise sabotaging thoughts and stop yourself from getting caught up in them.

    10. Practice your “elevator pitch”

    If someone suddenly suggests using together, having an answer at the ready is helpful—your elevator pitch. This prevents you from being overwhelmed and relapsing. Your pitch should be short and sweet, and make it clear that you no longer use chems. Imagine different situations and practice with a friend if necessary.