Study Finds Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Youth More Likely to Use Multiple Substances

An Oregon State University study has found that lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth are more likely to use substances including nicotine, alcohol, and cannabis. Results of the research were published recently by the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

Sarah Dermody, an assistant professor in the School of Psychological Science in OSU’s College of Liberal Arts and the author of the report, said in a release that queer youth are at an increased use of harm from substance use.

“This data shows definitively that polysubstance use is an issue among many youth who identify as sexual minorities, meaning they are facing added health risks,” said Dermody. “But there are also differences among the subgroups of youth who identify as sexual minorities, suggesting we need to look beyond the averages to understand what factors may be influencing substance use in this population.”

“Sexual minority is an umbrella term for those who identify with any sexual identity other than heterosexual or who report same-sex attraction or behavior,” according to the release. “For the purposes of the study, the researchers focused on those youth who identified as lesbian, gay or bisexual.”

Transgender youth were not included in the study.

Three Times the Risk

Dermody said that

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