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High substance abuse levels in LGB community

High levels of alcohol and drug dependency have been unveiled in the lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) communities. 

The largest study of its kind has found that more than 25% of LGB people have “potentially problematic” drug and alcohol use. 

People who scored as substance dependent were two times likely to seek information and advice than binge users, but from informal sources such as the internet, friends and family, rather than professional services. 

Feelings of shame and embarrassment prevent some people from seeking help. 

The report states: “The increased likelihood of problematic use and dependency among LGB people is currently not widely acknowledged or addressed in the substance use field and as a consequence, there is substantial risk of hidden harm among LGB populations.” 

Dr Caroline Yorston, policy and research Officer at The Lesbian & Gay Foundation said: “The people we spoke to illustrated some of the social and emotional reasons why they use substances, such as isolation and depression. We already know these issues disproportionately affect lesbian, gay and bisexual people, so we can start to understand why substance use is higher among this community.”

A full report will be released at the end of the year.