A government study has found that in 2015, lesbians, gays, and bisexual people were more likely to use illegal drugs or abuse prescription drugs than straight people.
The study results, released in October by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, showed that last year 39.1 percent of self-identified gays, lesbians, and bisexuals took an illicit drug last year. That’s against 17.1 percent of straight people.
Sexual minorities dominated in drug use among all substances, including prescription pain killers, cocaine, and methamphetamine.
Gays, lesbians, and bisexuals also lead straights in alcohol (63.6 percent vs. 56.2 percent) and cigarette (32.2 percent vs. 20.6 percent) use.
Big names in the LGBT community have started a conversation about substance abuse issues facing queer people today:
- Drag superstars Shangela, Manila Luzon, Trixie Mattel, and Tammie Brown joined the Food and Drug Administration for an anti-smoking campaign called “Be Known for Your Flawless.”
- Social media star Kyle Krieger has given TED talks about his drug and alcohol addiction.
- And recently, journalist Owen Jones wrote that drug and alcohol abuse in the LGBT community was “a demon more powerful than HIV.”