REPORT: GAYS 7 TIMES MORE LIKELY TO USE DRUGS
Tue, 25 September 2012
A new UK report has found that drug use among gay and bisexual people is seven times higher compared to the general population.
The study was conducted by The Lesbian & Gay Foundation and the University of Central Lancashire over a three year period, with over 4206 lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people surveyed about their drug use online, through gay groups or at Pride events across the UK.
The researchers found that 35% of the respondents had taken at least one substance (excluding alcohol) in the last month and that drug use is common across all age groups, especially up to the age of 40.
They also concluded that binge drinking is around twice as common in gay and bisexual males, and almost twice as common in lesbian, gay and bisexual females, when compared to males and females in the wider population.
"LGB people are not only more likely to take drugs and/or binge drink alcohol compared to the wider population; they seem more likely to be dependent on these substances," says the report.
The respondents' most commonly used drugs in the past month were Cannabis (20%); Poppers (18%); Cocaine (8%); Ecstasy (7%) and; Ketamine (4%). GHB was at 2%, LSD at 1% and Crystal meth at 1%.
LGBTI activist have described the report as a "wake-up call". David Stuart, education, training and outreach manager at London Friend, the UK’s only targeted LGBT drug and alcohol service, told the Independent newspaper that “rejection, fear" and "shame around sex” contribute towards the high rate of drug use among LGB people.
The report's authors said that the findings will be presented to key stakeholders in the substance abuse field with the aim of compiling an action plan to tackle the problem.