Turns out, lesbian, gay, bisexual or questioning (LGBQ) teens are at substantially higher risk of substance use than their heterosexual peers.
According to a new study led by San Diego State University researchers, LGBQ teens are more likely to use dangerous drugs.
As part of the most recent National Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 15,624 high school students were asked about their use of 15 substances, including alcohol, drugs, and tobacco.
The survey also included questions about sexual identity, including whether teens identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or questioning.
The data showed LGBQ teens were more likely to have ever used 14 of the 15 substances studied, including alcohol, cigarettes, cigars, cocaine, ecstasy, electronic vapor ("vaping"), hallucinogens, heroin, inhalants, marijuana, methamphetamine, prescription drugs (without physician direction), steroids, and synthetic marijuana.
LGBQ teens were also at greater risk for having used harder drugs.
The survey included questions gauging potential ongoing use for some substances by asking about their use during the past 30 days. Compared to their heterosexual peers, LGBQ teens faced an elevated risk for going use of alcohol, cigarettes, cigars, vaping, and marijuana.
Study coauthor John W. Ayers said, "There have been some indications that LGBQ teens face increased substance use risks, but our study shows for the first time that the problem goes far beyond alcohol and tobacco, including the hardest most dangerous drugs."
The team noted these new data should not be used to judge LGBQ teens.
An LGBTQ health researcher at the University of California, coauthor Laramie Smith said, " Our findings highlight the need for accepting LGBQ teens, as stigma may be playing a role in elevating their substance use risk or prevent those from needing help to speak up."
The team also encouraged parents, teachers, caretakers, and advocates to be vigilant.
The full findings are published in the journal- American Journal of Public Health.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.
As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.
Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.