Substance use in the LGBTQ+ community

In the CARE lab, we are also examining differences in substance use patterns and harms based on gender and sexuality. Importantly, sexual minority youth and adults, including lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals, have been shown to be at risk for using substances relative to heterosexual individuals. This may be due to multiple factors, such as in response to stress associated with being a minority in a heteronormative culture. Presently, few interventions are available to address these processes that contribute to substance use among sexual minority individuals.

To improve our ability to address sexual minority-related disparities in substance use, the CARE lab is conducting a number of studies to clarify the nature of drug use among LGBTQ+ individuals. These studies aim to clarify what is the context of drug use among LGBTQ+ individuals. For instance, are sexual minority youth using multiple substances together or alone? Are certain substance use patterns more closely linked to minority stress than others? Ultimately, this work is meant to inform intervention.