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Loved-up gay and bi teens more likely to use drugs than straight counterparts

Ella Braidwood August 26, 2019

A new study has found that lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) teens are more likely to take drugs and drink alcohol than their straight counterparts.

The latest research also found that both straight and LGB adolescents who had not been in love had “significantly lower odds” for substance abuse when compared to young people who had fallen in love.

The study, led by András Költo of the University of Galway, involved using data from the 2014 Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) alongside responses from more than 14,500 15-year-olds from eight European countries.

Bisexual teens at higher risk of substance abuse, finds new study.

In particular, it found that bisexual teens – especially girls – were more likely to smoke cigarettes, drink and use cannabis.

“Both-gender attracted, and to a lesser extent, same-gender attracted adolescents were significantly more likely to smoke cigarettes, consume alcohol, get drunk and use cannabis, or be involved in multiple substance use in the last 30 days compared to their opposite-gender attracted peers,” reads the abstract for the study.

Sexual minority stigma (and love on its own) may contribute to higher substance use among adolescents in European countries.

The study was published on August 23 by the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. It is titled Romantic Attraction and Substance Use in 15-Year-Old Adolescents from Eight European Countries.

The abstract for the publication also suggested that discrimination could play a part in the higher rates of substance abuse for LGB teens, noting that “sexual minority stigma (and love on its own) may contribute to higher substance use among adolescents in European countries”.

New study builds on previous research.

(Pixabay)

The latest study builds on previous research surrounding LGB teens and substance abuse when compared to their heterosexual peers.

In 2018, a study by San Diego State University found that LGBQ students in the US were more likely to take hard drugs – including cocaine, ecstasy and heroin – than their straight counterparts.

Another publication in 2019 also suggested that LGBT+ first-time teenage offenders in the US are more likely to use drugs than their cisgender or straight equivalents.

Other research has also found that older LGBT+ individuals in Britain are at higher risk of substance abuse than heterosexual people.

If you need advice on substance abuse issues, or just want to talk, can drug advice service Frank on 0300 1236600, or visit their website.

More: drugs, Europe, Ireland, teens, USA

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