Substance Abuse also known as chemical dependency is the physical or psychological dependence of alcohol or drugs. Research indicates that the LGBT population, when compared to the heterosexual population, is more likely to abuse alcohol and drugs into later life. This puts the community at greater risk for dependency and drug addiction. Studies suggest that alcohol abuse occurs in the LGBT community three times more often than it does in the heterosexual population. In addition, they have been shown to abuse drugs at higher rates than the heterosexual population. However, certain drugs appear to be more popular in their community than others.
Gay men, for example, are significantly more likely to have used marijuana, stimulants, sedatives, cocaine, and “party drugs” (ecstasy, ketamine, and GHB) than heterosexual men. The abuse of crystal methamphetamine in gay and bisexual men has increased significantly in recent years .
There are a very small number of studies that have focused on drug use in the lesbian community; therefore, there is not a lot of information on this population. However, the few studies that exist do suggest that drug and alcohol abuse in lesbians occurs at higher rates than heterosexual women. The studies also suggest that these numbers could equal the rates of drug and alcohol addiction in gay men.
The following types of drugs are commonly abused by members of the LGBT community:
To learn more about the abuse of alcohol, cocaine, prescription medications, heroin, and crystal methamphetamines click on these links: