LGBTQI+ People and Substance Use


Partner showing compassion towards their partner with a kiss on the forehead.
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  • Research has found that sexual and gender minorities, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex people (LGBTQI+), have higher rates of substance misuse and substance use disorders than people who identify as heterosexual. People from these groups are also more likely to enter treatment with more severe disorders.
  • People in LGBTQI+ communities can face stressful situations and environments like stigma and discrimination, harassment, and traumatic experiences. Coping with these issues may raise the likelihood of a person having substance use problems.
  • NIDA supports research to help identify the particular challenges that sexual and gender minority people face, to prevent or reduce substance use disorders among these groups, and to promote treatment access and better health outcomes.