How the Term Party and Play (PnP) Relates to Drug Use

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For people struggling with addictions to drugs, there is a whole vocabulary of words specific to this subculture. They often use terms to reference different behaviors, gatherings, and substances that are used by one another to identify themselves as users willing to engage in certain activities. One of the most common among addicts, particularly those with an addiction to methamphetamine (meth), is the term "PnP."

What Is PnP?

PnP stands for "party and play." In this context, to "party" means to take illegal drugs, typically meth, and to "play" means to engage in high-risk sexual behaviors, including unprotected sex or group sex. Both PnP and party and play are euphemisms or code words that allow people looking for PnP partners or participants to openly invite, discuss, and organize PnP events in relative secrecy By using "PnP', they can discuss their plans without worrying about being overheard by others who might judge, berate or interfere with PnP planning.

For someone to find partners with whom they can take drugs and have sex, they need to be able to invite strangers to take part in two highly stigmatized behaviors: taking an illegal drug and having sex with someone they don't know. Stigma is heightened by the sexual activities in question being frowned upon by most people; many will state how unsafe and potentially life-threatening these high-risk behaviors are.

Discussion of Drug Use and Sex in Chat Rooms

One of the ways that people interested with finding people to take drugs and have sex with is through online chat rooms and dating sites, where terms like party and play and PnP allows people to invite others without explicitly mentioning drugs or sex.

However, as the terms party and play and PnP have become more widely recognized, it is becoming more difficult to use these terms without detection and websites may not allow the use of these terms. Certainly, if you use the terms party and play or PnP in online chat rooms or forums, many people will assume you are referring to engaging in drug use and sexual activity.

Risks of Party and Play Behavior

Besides the risks of being arrested, participating in PnP carries heavy risks in terms of physical health. PnP has been found to increase rates of STD transmission, including strains of HIV/AIDs. Some drugs, like meth, can cause mouth sores or abrasions which can make you even more susceptible to contracting a serious STD. 

Additionally, PnP users are vulnerable to other threats, such as assault, theft or rape. Because many nP meetings are arranged in secret, using codes and often anonymous forums, you have no idea who you are engaging with and can be in serious danger by meeting up with these people in a motel room or other private location. 

PnP is appealing to people with combined meth and sex addiction, although others attempt to PnP on weekends, or only occasionally. Either way, PnP is a very risky activity, which is why online chat rooms and dating sites discourage it. If you or someone you know has engaged in PnP or continues to do so, it's important to talk to a doctor or therapist to begin treatment to help face your addiction and catch any medical issues. 

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Article Sources

  • Amico, J. "From Party and Play to Clean and Safe". Addiction Professional, 2006.