Alcohol & Drugs

Alcohol & Drugs

Haemosexual Drugs and Alcohol 0010


This subject is one which covers the whole spectrum of the haemophilia/bleeding disorder community. Both young and old, those who have lived for years with chronic pain, viral infections or psychological harm, as well as those just starting out in adult life. Whatever your stage in life is the same risks and problems brought on by alcohol and drugs are the same and apply to everyone.

For those of you who may have been attending the same Haemophilia Unit for many years, talking to centre staff can sometimes feel a bit awkward. Some staff at your centre may feel uncomfortable about discussing these subjects with you. This may be because they do not feel sufficiently informed or trained to do so. However, they can refer you to someone who is trained to do this.

Alternatively, contact details can be found within the Haemosexual Website Information pages.

Currently the most commonly used drugs in the UK are:

Amyl nitrate – Poppers
LSD – Acid – Trips
Cannabis – Weed – Spliffs – Dope
Amphetamines – Speed – Whizz
Crystal Methamphetamine
GHB/GBL – Liquid E
Ketamine – K
Cocaine – Charlie
Nitrous Oxide – Laughing Gas – NOS


Further drug information is available below and across the Haemosexual website



Haemophilia Health Australia

The information below has been written by Haemophilia Health Australia. Their forward thinking attitude is currently the best material available designed to give people with a bleeding disorder the opportunity to make their own informed choices. –

Teenagers are known to explore new things, and in some cases this may involve making decisions about drugs and alcohol. However, it’s important that you understand that using drugs and alcohol is associated with a range of health risks for everyone, but this is especially the case for people with haemophilia.

A key issue is that consuming alcohol is illegal for people under 18 years of age – and taking recreational drugs is illegal for everyone. Another key issue to be aware of is that drugs and alcohol can impair your judgement and coordination, and slow your reaction time. This means that you are more likely to take risks and injure yourself.

Plus, if you do get injured and have a bleed, being under the influence of drugs or alcohol may impair your ability to give yourself an infusion. This is because alcohol causes dehydration, which makes it more difficult to find a vein. Combine this with reduced coordination and balance and things could get tricky!

Being under the influence of drugs or alcohol may also make it difficult for you to seek medical attention, if required, and then explain your condition to the medical personnel who are assisting you. This is a serious issue, because if the people treating you don’t know you have a bleeding disorder, they won’t know how to take care of you properly.

Another important factor to consider is that drinking even a small amount of alcohol can act as a ‘blood thinner’, which makes blood clotting more difficult than usual. There may also be interactions between recreational drugs and prescription medications, including bleeding disorder medications, that are not yet known and could potentially be harmful and even life threatening.

Finally, alcohol abuse can damage your liver, which is particularly a concern for those with hepatitis C or who have HIV and are taking antiretroviral drugs.

Documents, studies and research into substance abuse in the LGBT community can be seen on the dedicated page 

Further information related to alcohol and or drugs can be found on the Drinkware website.




Drinkaware is an independent charity which aims to reduce alcohol-related harm by helping people make better choices about their drinking. We will achieve this by providing impartial, evidence based information, advice and practical resources, raising awareness of alcohol and its harms and by working collaboratively with partners.

Do you know what an alcohol unit is? What the official guidance is or what exactly is in your drinks? Find out here and take an Alcohol Self-Assessment.

The short and long-term effects of alcohol can affect your body, lifestyle and mental health. Armed with the facts you can make an informed choice about your drinking.

The effects of illegal drugs will always be unpredictable. Generally, when you mix them with alcohol they’re exaggerated in some way, which can result in anything from nausea to heart failure. Best advice is to completely steer clear of illegal drugs, especially with alcohol.




I need to speak to someone about alcohol

Drinkline (0300 123 1110) is a confidential helpline you can call if you’re worried about your drinking.


Our offices:

Drinkaware, Finsbury Circus (Salisbury House), 3rd Floor (Room 519), London, EC2M 5QQ


Call or fax us:

Tel: 020 7766 9900

Fax: 020 7504 8217


Email us: 

If you’re unable to find the answer to your query on our website, then please email us on 


Drinkaware is a registered charity

Registered in England & Wales No. 4547974
A company limited by guarantee
Registered Charity No. 1094586
Scottish Number. SC043163



For further information on drugs visit