Methamphetamine use among gay men: An interpretive review of a non-sanctioned occupation
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Introduction. Attending to the nuanced meanings of non-sanctioned occupations holds the potential to better grasp the influences of occupational contexts at multiple levels. This interpretive review of the literature examines the recreational use of methamphetamine (meth) by gay men. We bring attention to potential benefits, without undermining potential risks for harm. The intent is to broaden current knowledge about meth use by gay men and to understand the many motivations and contexts, as well as influences on other occupations. Method. 15 articles were reviewed and critically appraised. Themes emerged iteratively with interpretation focused on deepening understandings of meth use as an occupation, and in relation to other occupations as engaged in by gay men. Results. Four themes were identified: i) motivations for using meth, ii) disinhibition vs. losing control, iii) contextual factors and patterns of use, and iv) meth use, sex, and harm reduction. Discussion. Advantages and valued benefits associated with using meth recreationally co-occur with potential risks and disadvantages. Experiences of meth use shape and are shaped by social and physical contexts, including community norms and group rituals. Using meth also alters engagement in and performance of other occupations, including sex, socializing, productivity (e.g., work, household chores), and leisure occupations (e.g., dancing, playing pool). The centrality of risk to the experience of using meth suggests that perspectives rooted in health promotion and risk avoidance may misconstrue the occupation itself, something to be considered for all non-sanctioned occupations.
Gish, A. Kiepek, N., & Beagan, B. (2019, July). Methamphetamine use among gay men: An interpretive review of a non-sanctioned occupation. Journal of Occupational Science, 27(1), 26-38. doi: 10.1080/14427591.2019.1643398