Health: Drug use ‘Seven Times Higher” for Gays in England/Wales

A  report, conducted by the Lesbian and Gay Foundation (LGF) and the University of Central Lancashire concluded that more than a third of gay, lesbian and bisexual people took at least one illegal drug in the last month. This rate compares use rates of 5% in the wider population, those who also admitted using in the last month.

The report points to drug use among gay, lesbian and bisexual people as being seven times higher than drug use among the general population.

The most widely used substances among those surveyed were party drugs such as cannabis and poppers, followed by powder cocaine, ecstasy, ketamine and amphetamines.

Cocaine use was reported at a rate that was 10 times greater than the general population, with ketamine use being 10 times greater.

While drug use in the general population tends to decrease with age, the report found almost as many lesbian, gay and bisexual 36- to 40-year-olds were taking drugs as their younger counterparts.

Feelings of “rejection” and “fear” as well as “shame around sex” could be factors leading to substance abuse, said David Stuart, education, training and outreach manager at London Friend, the UK’s only targeted LGBT drug and alcohol service.

But Kitty Richardson, 25, who runs the Most Cake, a blog for lesbians in London, said: “the scene has a lot to answer for”.

She added: “People are very quick to label gay people as troubled, or inherently needing those crutches, but all our methods of socializing revolve around drink or drugs. A by-product of that is people can become dependent.”

SO… what is your opinion? Is the higher rate of drug  use among gays, a party or a desperate plea for relief from pain?


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  1. stefano

    i believe the use of these drugs, is primarily an escape from inferiority feelings..also a very stupid and demeaning act..get real and enjoy life without the ignorant crutch you are clinging to..

  2. mihael

    In my opinion, I think adding marijuana on the list of “illicit” drugs is a bit unfair. Especially because its a substance people rely on for a multitude of remedies. The uses for marijuana span from pain relief to sleeping medication to anxiety relief and much more. To imply that the percentage of the gay population who only use marijuana and do not delve into other drugs are in reaction to an oppressive society or mental tribulations is a bit unfair and I feel it would skew the statistic. I’d be curious to see the results if that factor was omitted.

  3. Evan

    As long as one controls it and doesn’t allow it to control their lives then I see no problem with it. Like the act of drinking isn’t bad but what your actions can be when drunk possibly could be.

  4. Jason

    I’d say it’s definitely a coping mechanism. It’s not necessarily a desperate situation it certainly can become that over time.

    In the gay world while we pretend we’re one big loving family……in fact we are very divided, most notably at the sub-cultural level. And, the sub-cultural level is where the drugs are most prominent, and where there is the most gay-on-gay discrimination, competition, etc. The sub-culture, too is what those who are not gay fear. When one ”cycles” thru the gay scene sub-culturally, it gets pretty wierd, I’ve seen a vast portion of the spectrum and I’ve met people at various points and it’s pretty sad.

    I too, have had my battles with pot meth, and the like. I too, was outcast by my own fellow gays under the excuse that ”Oh well, I’m just a bad person making bad decisions.” The reality is, role models are few and far between in the gay scene… fact, I never agreed that just because I like guys, that I want to conform to this gay scene. I don’t own it, and I more than likely never will.

    The principles and morals (oh yeah, I still have those) that I guide by and adhere to (when I’m actually adhering to them at this point) are certainly not in agreement with a culture who merely plays the victim time and time again, althewhile suppressing and promoting the very things they claim to change.

    I guess, in summary, it comes down to the family model….it proves to be the most successful, everyone knows their place. That’s not the case in gay culture, and the adults misguide the youth or are only concerned with sleeping with the next boy…..the fact that we call ourselves boys is sick enough……why do you think people refer to gays as pedophiles?
    Obviously that’s not the case and that’s extremist b/s…..but I guess at the end of the day…..I’d raise my kids using a traditional family model, I’d keep them the hell away from gay pride, rainbows and unicorns, and the like. If he wants to fall in love with a guy, I’d be thrilled, but I wouldn’t thrust him into an environment that prides itself with the principles gay people pride themselves on….if that offends you, good, you’re only agreeing with me. Trust me people, I’m not alot of the nonsense I just wrote about it. I’ve just experienced it, the worst of it and I’m 25. If you’re 70 and think it’s cool to date me, I’m sorry but you have a problem and you need help. The lack of boundaries in the gay world is the root cause of the majority of these issues…and don’t get me started on gay leadership…..the tiny bit who’ve blown more smoke up their own ass they can hardly walk.
    Hop off you’re self righteous keysters and admit whats really going on in your communities….people are suffering, people are dying…..and it has nothing to do with straight people or people who go to church, and thats real.


  5. Phine50

    It’s both. Drowning your feelings of shame and frustration over being gay and the fact that our main outlet for meeting others is bars. Drugs and alcohol also are apart of hooking up. If you’re scared to make your feelings known, a hit or a drink loosens up that inhibition. I’ve been clean and sober for 15 years and prefer to meet other men who don’t drink, use drugs or smoke and I’m telling you it’s slim pickings. The majority of men I meet do one or all three!

  6. Timothy

    As a recovering addict I can honestly say that alcoholism and drug addiction is a disease. It might start off as just a way to loosen up or be more social but eventually most people become addicted to the substance. These are sad statistics and these people need help.

  7. John

    Poppers don’t count… of course 1/3 of gay men have used poppers in the past month. Doesn’t mean they are out snorting coke afterwards

  8. blazin88

    Still drug free after 24 years. I watched many friends of mine fall victim to addiction because of carelessness or lack of ability to handle personal issues without a crutch to fall back on! Sad!

  9. ANNoynomys

    It also could be used as a weight loss crutch, as the gay community will
    Outcast yOu for being even one pound overweight cocaine that is

  10. josh

    i dont know why the drug use is higher, but i just recently moved from america to london and the gay guys talk about drugs like its an every day thing when its not. ive also been to some areas in london where its easy to access drugs. in vauxhall they have guys just waiting outside the clubs waiting for customers.

  11. WBFF

    Whoever took the picture should do their homework. You would never use a double-edge razor to cut lines–you’d slice off a finger.

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