LGBT communities and substance use in Queensland, Australia: Perceptions of young people and community stakeholders

Publication Type:
Journal Article
PLoS ONE, 2018, 13 (9)
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
© 2018 Demant et al. Sexual minority young people use licit and illicit substances at disproportionate levels. However, little is known about the perceptions of substance use among members of LGBT communities. This paper reports the results of a content analysis of 45 semi-structured interviews about substance use in LGBT communities with sexual minority young people (n = 31) and community stakeholders (n = 14). Results indicated both sexual minority youth and community stakeholders perceived the use and acceptance of substances to be higher in LGBT communities compared to the general population. Participants identified a range of characteristics potentially leading to higher levels of substance use including peer pressure, high exposure to substance use, and the high concentrations of licensed venues in LGBT communities. Marginalisation, discrimination and mental health were also perceived as important reasons for these disparities. Community stakeholders identified a range of potential interventions including legislation to address discrimination and substance use, increased services and activities, advertising in commercial LGBT venues and social media, and reinvigorating community cohesion.
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