New research published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, scientifically proves something that most people have known for a long time: the LBG community knows how to party.
Actually, that’s not exactly what the published findings report, but it makes the same point.
According to the research, lesbian, bi-sexual and gay individuals use stimulant drugs at rates between 3 and 5 times that of their straight counterparts.
The researchers examined data from the 2015-17 National Survey of Drug Use and Health and explored connections between people’s sexual identity and use of both medical and non-medical stimulants over the past year. It found that bisexual women use illegal stimulants (such as cocaine and meth) five times more than heterosexual women; and gay men used them three times more. Use of prescription stimulants (like Adderall and Ritalin) was higher as well: 2.5% higher between bisexual women and heterosexual women; and 3% higher between gay and hetero men.
What’s all that mean? What is society supposed to do with this knowledge?
The researchers suggest that it is indicative of minority stress: stigma and discrimination the LBG community experiences for their sexual identity. Pressure from a world that that’s been unfair and judgmental towards them, which in turn increases their likelihood of developing substance abuse disorders or overdosing.
"This study highlights the need for future interventions to target stimulant use among LGB populations, with a particular focus on harm reduction approaches," the study’s author, Morgan Philbin, said in a press release.
The researchers claim that perceived stigmas are “associated with cocaine use.”
Maybe that’s true. Maybe people who feel discriminated against do use more drugs.
Or, maybe the LBG community is just out there living their best lives, having fun and partying like it’s 1999. Which, shouldn’t get the bad rap it does (in my humble opinion). The “drugs, sex and rock and roll” lifestyle gets frowned upon just because it’s fun-as-hell and edgy to boot. But it doesn’t always necessitate an “intervention.” Certain individuals might — but the entire community?
Anyway, the researchers believe that this information offers several avenues to address stimulant use among LBG’s: namely educating healthcare providers who work closely with those communities and offering better access to medication disposal and harm reduction services.
"The findings have important implications across sexual identities, and demonstrate the need to disaggregate stimulant use by subgroup and gender, particularly related to polysubstance use," said Philbin.
If you or a friend is struggling with substance abuse you can always talk with someone at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) national helpline: 1-800-662-4357. Addiction is very real and affects millions of people in America, straight, gay, bi-, whatever. It’s a cycle that can be broken if you really want out — there are people and services who can help.
Otherwise, party on dudes.