NBC NEWS has reported how gay men are now using Grindr to buy and sell drugs. The article highlights several accounts of men who recount personal experiences with drugs on the app.
This is just a few of the examples:
“The issue with drugs has been a gay community plague since the ‘80s, but in the modern era, you don’t need a guy who knows a guy. All you need to do is open up your app and look for that capital ‘T.’”-Derrick Anderson, a Grindr user from Chicago
“Today with Grindr, men can have sex and drugs delivered to their door instantly. I think it’s gotten worse in the past couple of years. The apps are making it easier for people to find him.” – Phil McCabe, social worker and president of the National Association of LGBT Addiction Professionals
“Drugs were always sprinkled throughout the app, but now it’s nothing like before. Of course, drug sales are happening on other dating apps but at a fraction.” – George, a Grindr user in New York
“It gives me more clientele than I would normally get on the street.” – Mike, a teaching assistant in New York City who also sells drugs
They also show how drugs users and sellers use certain code words and emojis in their headlines and profiles. For example, a diamond would be used to represent meth and a snowman for cocaine.
The National Survey on Drug Use and Health in 2015 found that adults who identified as gay, bisexual, or lesbian, 39.1% have used illegal drugs in the past year, compared to 17.1% of heterosexual. The rates of drug use and addictions are disproportionately high within the gay community. It was also found that bisexual and gay men are 12.2 times more likely to use amphetamines. This statistic was unearthed by in the research for the book “Unequal Opportunity: Health Disparities Affecting Gay and Bisexual Men in the United States.”
NBC NEWS requested a comment form Grindr, and a spokesperson said: “Grindr prohibits the promotion of drug use in its user profiles and is committed to creating a safe environment through digital and human screening tools to help its users connect and thrive.” Furthermore, “Grindr encourages users to report suspicious and threatening activities,” the spokesperson added. “While we are constantly improving upon this process, it is important to remember that Grindr is an open platform.”
But when asked about a specific example of how they directly combat this NBC NEWS received no comment.
You can read the entire article here