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LGBT population experiences higher rate of substance abuse

According to a new report by The Center for American progress, LGBT Population experiences higher rates of substance use, many use drugs to cope with discrimination and prejudice. 20 percent to 30 percent of LGBT people abuse substances, compared to about 9 percent of the general population.

Among the factors leading to these rates of substance use and abuse are:

Gay and transgender people report higher rates of substance use than others due to three main factors.

First, many gay and transgender people live with a high level of stress that comes from social prejudice and discriminatory laws in areas of daily life such as employment, relationship recognition, and health care.

Second, a lack of cultural competency in the health care system discourages gay and transgender people from seeking treatment for substance abuse, and?if they do seek help?often leads to inappropriate or irrelevant services.

Finally, targeted marketing efforts by alcohol and tobacco companies exploit the connection many gay and transgender people have to bars and clubs as safe spaces for socializing and increase easy access to tobacco products and alcohol. Below, we look at each of these factors in turn.

Download the report brief (pdf)