Young adults who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual are at a higher risk of consuming substances such as alcohol, nicotine and marijuana than their heterosexual peers.
Lesbians, gays, bisexual adolescents at increased risk of substance abuse (Representational Image) | Photo Credit: & nbspThinkstock
Washington, D.C: Young adults who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual are at a higher risk of consuming substances such as alcohol, nicotine and marijuana than their heterosexual peers. A recent Oregon State University study found that polysubstance use is a problem among many adolescents who identify themselves as sexual minorities, meaning that they are exposed to additional health risks.
Assistant Professor Sarah Dermody said, "There are also differences between the subgroups of adolescents who identify as sexual minorities, suggesting that we need to look beyond the average to understand which factors can affect substance use in this population. "
The sexual minority is a collective term for those who identify with a sexual identity other than heterosexual or who report same-sex attraction or behavior. In the study, researchers focused on adolescents identified as lesbian, gay or bisexual.
"The aim of the new study was to understand the risks associated with the use of polysubstances or the use of three or more types of drugs among adolescent adolescents, a field of research that is largely unedited," he said Dermody.
The results suggest that it could be good practice for health care providers serving these adolescents to conduct substance use assessments through regular health examinations.
Further research is needed to identify factors that may contribute to increased substance use in adolescents who identify as sexual minorities and why these factors may affect more than others. The study is published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Addiction.