According to a study released by the San Diego State University, Lesbian, gay, bisexual or questioning teens (LGBT) are at least twice as likely as their heterosexual peers to use illegal drugs like cocaine, ecstasy, heroin and methamphetamines.
The study interviewed just under 15,000 high school students, analysing their usage of 15 different substances, including illegal drugs as well as tobacco, alcohol and prescription drugs that weren’t given to them by a physician.
The findings revealed that LGBQ teens were 12 per cent more likely than other teens to report any substance use in their lifetimes and 27 per cent more likely to report substance use in the previous month.
Heroin and or methamphetamines were three times more likely to be used by LGBQ youth. Ecstasy and or cocaine more than twice.
Marijuana was used at some point by half of LGBQ youth and almost 38 per cent of all other teens.
Drinking and smoking was most common, almost 72 per cent of LGBQ teens had tried alcohol in their lifetimes, as had 63 per cent of heterosexual youth. Smoking cigarettes, 47 per cent of LGBQ youth said they had smoked at least once, compared to 31 per cent of heterosexual teens.
Of the study 11 per cent identified as a sexual minority: 2 per cent were lesbian or gay, 6 per cent were bisexual, and 3.2 per cent were questioning their identities.
The purpose of the study was to find whether or not sexual orientation directly influenced substance use or impact how much teens smoked, drank or did drugs.
“There have been some indications that LGBQ teens face increased substance use risks, but our study shows for the first time that the problem goes far beyond alcohol and tobacco, including the hardest most dangerous drugs,” explained SDSU School of Public Health associate research professor and study co-author John W. Ayers.