A report, conducted by the Lesbian and Gay Foundation (LGF) and the University of Central Lancashire concluded that more than a third of gay, lesbian and bisexual people took at least one illegal drug in the last month. This rate compares use rates of 5% in the wider population, those who also admitted using in the last month.
The report points to drug use among gay, lesbian and bisexual people as being seven times higher than drug use among the general population.
The most widely used substances among those surveyed were party drugs such as cannabis and poppers, followed by powder cocaine, ecstasy, ketamine and amphetamines.
Cocaine use was reported at a rate that was 10 times greater than the general population, with ketamine use being 10 times greater.
While drug use in the general population tends to decrease with age, the report found almost as many lesbian, gay and bisexual 36- to 40-year-olds were taking drugs as their younger counterparts.
Feelings of “rejection” and “fear” as well as “shame around sex” could be factors leading to substance abuse, said David Stuart, education, training and outreach manager at London Friend, the UK’s only targeted LGBT drug and alcohol service.
But Kitty Richardson, 25, who runs the Most Cake, a blog for lesbians in London, said: “the scene has a lot to answer for”.
She added: “People are very quick to label gay people as troubled, or inherently needing those crutches, but all our methods of socializing revolve around drink or drugs. A by-product of that is people can become dependent.”
SO… what is your opinion? Is the higher rate of drug use among gays, a party or a desperate plea for relief from pain?