Drug use

Drug use (especially amongst gay men) is one of the more heavily researched areas of LGB health issues. This is in part due to the fact that drug use is perceived to be a significant aspect of the LGB scene and community.

It is also felt that drug use leads to high risk taking behaviour, and increased likelihood of unsafe sex. This can increase the risk of being infected with HIV. There is very little research conducted into the experience of lesbians and bisexual women.

Research suggests that drug use amongst gay men is significantly higher than heterosexual men. This, again, is because many aspects of the LGB community revolve around club and pub culture. It is also suggested that increased drug use is an established part of gay culture, and that it is difficult to avoid if you are a gay man who frequents the “scene”. Research also suggests that homophobia, leading to low self-esteem, has a significant impact on the likelihood of gay people to take drugs. Gay men are also less likely to start a family, and therefore continue to attend clubs and pubs for longer than their heterosexual counterparts.


  • Behavioral intervention for meth-using MSM. Researchers want to spread word (2002)
  • Club drugs & HIV: Drug treatment best hope for meth-using MSMs. Researchers want to get word out about problem. (2002)
  • Methamphetamine use is heightening risks among gay youth. 'Club drugs' dull safe-sex sensibilities (2002)
  • Are youth and drug use risk factors among German gay men? M Bochow
  • Use of anabolic steroids and associated health risks among gay men attending London gyms G Bolding , L Sherr , JElford (2002)
  • Amphetamine use is associated with increased HIV incidence among men who have sex with men in San Francisco K Buchacz , W McFarland , TKellogg (2005)
  • Drug Misuse Amongst People from the Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Community: A Scoping Study R Dyter , P Lockley (2003)
  • "chem friendly": The institutional basis of "club-drug" use in a sample of urban gay men A Green (2003)
  • Substance Use and Abuse in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Populations T Hughes , M Eliason (2003)
  • Outing Drugs: Report of the community-led research project focusing on drug and alcohol use by gay and bisexual male communities in Wiltshire & Swindon G Jefferson , N Tkaczuk (2005)
  • MDMA ('ecstasy') use, and its association with high risk behaviors, mental health, and other factors among gay/bisexual men in New York City R Klitzman , J Greenberg , LPollack , Dolezal, C (2002)
  • Circuit parties and patterns of drug use in a subset of gay men S Lee , M Galanter , HDermatis , McDowell, D (2003)
  • Patterns and trends of drug use in the San Francisco Bay Area J Newmeyer (2003)
  • Relationship of sexual orientation to substance use, suicidal ideation, suicide attempts, and other factors in a population of homeless adolescents J Noell , L Ochs (2001)
  • Psychiatric and substance dependence comorbidities, sexually transmitted diseases, and risk behaviors among methamphetamine-dependent gay and bisexual men seeking outpatient drug abuse treatment S Shoptaw , J Peck , CReback , Rotheram-Fuller, E (2003)
  • Being high and taking sexual risks: Findings from a multisite survey of urban young men who have sex with men A Stueve , L O'Donnell , RDuran , San Doval, A, Geier, J (2002)
  • Addressing the needs of lesbian, gay, and bisexual drug users. K Baker (1988)
  • Counseling lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender substance abusers: dual identities. D G. Finnegan. (2002)
  • Diversity issues in substance abuse treatment and research. S Loue (2003)
  • Dual Identities: Counseling lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender substance abusers: dual identities. D Finegan. (2002)
  • Positive about drugs II: The essential guide for HIV+ gay men who use drugs. G Monks (2000).
  • A select body: the gay dance party subculture and the HIV/AIDS pandemic. L A. Lewis (1997)
  • Sexual chemistry: sex, drugs, and gay men (2000)
  • Tweakers: how Crystal Meth is ravaging gay America. F Sanello.(2005)


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