Gay or bisexual school children as young as fourteen are 17 times more likely than straight students to use crystal methamphetamine and other “club drugs,” according to research in Canada.

The study surveyed over 600 students aged 13 to 19 at Vancouver and Victoria high schools. It found 14% have used crystal meth and other “club drugs”

Drug use was higher amongst the 2.5% of students who identified themselves as gay or bisexual. Investigators suggested this could be due to the amount of use within their social networks, or “problems with early self-identification as gay or bisexual.”

Lead author of the study, Thomas Lampinen, said there is not a crystal meth epidemic in high schools, but the trend for drug use to be so much higher in gay or bisexual students is a concern.

He concluded in his study that anti drug initiatives should focus more on gay or bisexual youth who are more likely to use drugs on a more frequent basis.

Mr Lampinen said it’s unclear what it is about the environment surrounding gay and bisexual teenagers that “tips the scales” towards drug use, but depression and being bullied contribute.