BKH Augsburg
BKH Augsburg


The research focus of our working group, divided into two locations (University Medical Center of Augsburg and LMU Munich), is substance-related addictive disorders. Here, we are mainly concerned with the issue of tobacco addiction. Additionally, we primarily explore the interaction of sexuality and substance consumption, especially the so-called 'chemsex', a subform of sexualized substance consumption, where primarily men who have sex with men (MSM) consume certain substances (GBL/GHB, methamphetamine, and mephedrone) in a sexual context. This entails significant risks for physical and mental health.


TEMPO (Tobacco cessation in patients with pulmonary carcinoma)

Tobacco dependence has often been shown to be an important factor in the development of pulmonary carcinomas. Often, patients with pulmonary carcinomas still smoke during the diagnosis, also due to the severity of this addictive disorder. There are established pharmacological and psychotherapeutic strategies for tobacco cessation. In cooperation with the BKH Augsburg, the UKA has implemented a comprehensive and guideline-oriented concept for tobacco cessation with elements of outreach work including pharmacological therapy support, a tobacco cessation psychotherapy group, and telephone consultation.
Our study on tobacco cessation in patients with pulmonary carcinomas (TEMPO) is therefore precisely tailored to those affected and dedicated to the following questions:
  1. How do smoking people with pulmonary carcinomas differ from non-smokers with such carcinomas in terms of their mental health and quality of life?
  2. How does a multi-professional and outreach concept affect the quality of life and abstinence of smoking people with pulmonary cancer?
  3. Which elements of the new program are most promising and best accepted?

The aim of this study is therefore the scientific evaluation of the program and, thus, the improvement or further optimization of the care situation of patients. The project is funded by the Faculty of Medicine.


AWARENESS (Awareness of Chemsex Among Professionals in German speaking countries)

Chemsex has been shown to be an important risk factor for physical health (especially via sexually transmitted infections) but also mental health (depression, anxiety, psychotic episodes, and suicidality). Often, the connection between sexuality and substance consumption is not reported spontaneously by the patient due to shame, which is why knowledge in the field is particularly important for practitioners to specifically inquire when certain risk constellations are given.


The aim of this anonymous online study is to examine the awareness of chemsex and sexualized substance use among medical practitioners in order to improve the care situation for those affected.



SEARCHER (Sex work among chemsex users)

A largely unknown topic is the presence of sex work among chemsex users. In the context of qualitative work by other working groups, evidence has already emerged that this seems to be a relevant topic in the field of sex work. It seems possible that psychological stress could serve as a motive for chemsex. In addition, there are indications in the literature that loneliness could be a motive that promotes chemsex and could also play a role in the field of sex work. The aim of this project is the comprehensive investigation of the relationship between sex work, chemsex and loneliness in order to develop appropriate interventions for the affected persons. The project is funded by the Faculty of Medicine.
Further information about our working group in Munich can be found at: www.chsx.de



  1. Gertzen M, Strasburger M, Geiger J, Rosenberger C, Gernun S, Schwarz J, Rabenstein A, Rüther T. Chemsex : Eine neue Herausforderung der Suchtmedizin und Infektiologie [Chemsex : A new challenge in addiction medicine and infectious diseases]. Nervenarzt. 2022 Mar;93(3):263-278. German. doi: 10.1007/s00115-021-01116-x. Epub 2021 Apr 14. PMID: 33852029.

  2. Rosenberger C, Gertzen M, Strasburger M, Schwarz J, Gernun S, Rabenstein A, Lermer E, Rüther T. We Have a Lot to Do: Lack of Sexual Protection and Information-Results of the German-Language Online Survey "Let's Talk About Chemsex". Front Psychiatry. 2021 May 31;12:690242. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2021.690242. PMID: 34135790; PMCID: PMC8200571.

  3. Marcus Gertzen & Tobias Rüther, Chemsex und sexualisierter Substanzgebrauch, InFo Neurologie und Psychiatrie 2020, 22(6): 34-40

  4. Krause D, Jobst A, Langemak SM, …, Gertzen M et al. Event-Related Potentials Are Associated With Unexpected Gain and Loss: Using a Gambling Paradigm. Clinical EEG and Neuroscience. 2019;50(3):154-160. doi:10.1177/1550059418814987

  5. Anil Batra, Melanie Düerkop, Marcus Gertzen, Andreas Jähne, Stefan Mühlig, Tobias Rüther, Psychiatrische, neurologische und internistische Folgeschäden der Nikotinabhängigkeit, Suchtmedizin 2019 (Elsevier);1: 242-245