The results from the first ever survey into
substance use by LGB people showed that we are much more likely to
binge drink and take drugs than the wider population.
The survey, by the Lesbian & Gay Foundation and the University
of Central Lancashire, collected data from 4,000 LGB people between
2009-2011, and discovered 'striking' results.
It shows that LGB men and women are around twice as likely to
binge drink, with nearly a third binge drinking at least once or
twice a week.
Across all age groups LGB people are more likely to take drugs. Of
the people asked, 35% had taken a substance, other than alcohol, in
the last month. This is estimated to be seven times higher than
this kind of use by the general population.
Over a fifth of the people in the survey were classed as dependent
on a substance, with a further quarter showing at least one sign of
Key figures from the NHS, Greater Manchester Police and regional
drug and alcohol services considered these levels 'striking'
compared to the wider population. Despite this, only a third of LGB
people involved had sought information or advice about their
Williams,Policy and Research Coordinator
at the Lesbian & Gay Foundation, said: "We hope this research
will foster wider understanding of how drugs and alcohol feature in
the lives of LGB people, and break down the perceptual and tangible
barriers LGB people often face when seeking advice or support about
substance use issues."
The survey was part of the findings from the 'Part of the Picture'
project, which was funded by the Big Lottery. Following the results
and the issues they have raised, an action plan about accessible
services for problematic LGB substance use will be published this