The Big Lottery Fund’s Big Research Programme is to provide funds for “England’s first ever research into drug and alcohol use among lesbian, gay and bisexual communities.”

The Lesbian and Gay Foundation and The International School for Communities, Rights and Inclusion at the University of Central Lancashire will conduct the project will take place over the next five years.

The most common drugs used by LGB people are ecstasy, cocaine, amphetamine, poppers and cannabis. Research carried out at Manchester Pride in 2007 by the LGF and UCLAN partnership, which involved 431 LGB people, found that 95% had used alcohol in the last four weeks.

35% reported being dependent on drugs or alcohol and 29% said they had problems with drugs or alcohol.

The new five year project will consist of a confidential survey to find out the levels of drug and alcohol use among lesbian, gay and bisexual communities.

The research will shape the future provision of drug and alcohol services to ensure that they are inclusive of the needs of LGB people, as well as developing a national evidence database of drug and alcohol usage among LGB communities.

“The Lesbian and Gay Foundation is delighted to be able to have secured funding for this vital project,” said Paul Martin, chief executive of the LGF.

“The research that we have already carried out indicates high rates of substance misuse amongst our communities. There is clearly a need for much more to be done to support both individuals and agencies in their understanding of how substance misuse affects our lives.

“We also need to help mainstream providers develop gay affirmative services. We are particularly pleased to carry on our partnership work with the University of Central Lancashire and look forward to developing closer links with other LGB agencies across England.”