New research has revealed that gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans people in Brighton are much more likely to use illegal drugs than the general population.

Brigton has one of the largest gay populations in the UK.

The study has prompted LGBT rights campaigners to urge gay people to seek help if they have problems with drugs.

University of Brighton researchers questioned 819 LGBT people between the ages of 16 and 75.

33% had used cannabis, 22% cocaine and 24% ecstasy.

The national averages are 8%, 2.4% and 1.6% respectively, according to figures compiled by the British Crime Survey.

Ruth Hunt, head of policy and researchat gay rights group Stonewall, told The Argus:

“It is not clear why LGBT people are more likely to take drugs than heterosexual people.

“It might be because there are very few alternatives for meeting other gay people except the scene.

“Stonewall is deeply concerned that LGB people are using drugs at a much higher rate than heterosexual people.

“Of greater concern however, is that gay people aren’t seeking help. A fear of discrimination means that LGB people are less likely to go to their GP.

“If you are not telling your doctor the whole truth, then how can they help you?”