New study calls for more ‘inclusive’ health services

Jez Buffin
Jez Buffin
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A FIVE-year study into drug and alcohol use among lesbian, gay and bisexual people in England found significant substance dependency problems in the community.

According to a survey carried out in conjunction with the University of Central Lancashire, LGB people often find it difficult to access the right can of health support.

Research carried out by The Lesbian & Gay Foundation (The LGF) in partnership with UCLan revealed that LGB people were up to seven times more likely to take illegal drugs compared to the general population, and twice as likely to binge drink.

The study also discovered that they were more likely to be dependent on drugs and alcohol, with between a quarter and a fifth of those who took part in the research indicating substance dependency.

Many said they felt like outsiders because of their sexual orientation when looking for health care.

Jez Buffin, principle lecture in the School of Social Work at UCLan, said: “This research has highlighted a number of significant differences between patterns of substance use among LGB and heterosexual people, and addresses what will be a costly problem in the future – both in terms of public spending and health.”

Heather Williams, policy and research manager from the LGF said drugs and alcohol were a big problem in a community disproportionately represented.