Hook-up applications like Grindr have been blamed for a supposed increase in drug use in the gay community, however this deflects from a focus on intervention and prevention.
Twenty10 Association Executive Director Brett Paradise said there is no research behind any link between methamphetamine use and gay dating websites.
“They’re looking for a simple solution to a complex problem,” he said.
“The links between those sites and ice is silly, certainly there’s no evidence based on that, it’s just a forum to let people know they do ice.”
Mr Paradise said drug users exist in many forums and gay dating applications would not promote drug use.
“I can’t see that it promotes it in anyway,” he said.
“It’s not like you go on the site and become a drug user, the fact is there are drug users on there.”
An anonymous Grindr user said there is a lot of talk surrounding drugs, in particular ice, on the application.
“People use it to say I’m wired,” he said.
“There are a lot of terms; magic puff, puff, sweet puff, Tina and some people even use emoji’s.”
The Grindr user said plenty of applications could be used to access drugs, not just Grindr.
“Dealers sometimes use the apps like Grindr, Blender and Tinder to get their product out,’ he said.
Mr Paradise said it would not be possible to shut down communication which could lead to drug use, because it will exist offline as well.
“There is an increased drug problem in regional areas but you aren’t going to shut down regional communities,” he said.
The Grindr user said shutting down the applications would not solve the issue of drug use in gay culture.
“Shutting it down is not going to stop it in any way shape or form,” he said.
“Drug use in gay culture in the main issue.”
Mr Paradise insists there needs to be more work towards intervention and prevention.
There needs to be focus on “creating employment and creating healthy activities within communities,” he said.
As well as “supporting rehabilitation centres so that when they’re ready to make the change there’s somewhere they can go do that.”
*Grindr User is known to The Source News however wishes to protect their identity.