October 21, 2016 at 8:00 am EDT | by Staff reports
Smoking, drinking rates higher for gays: study
cigarette, cigarette butts, smoking, tobacco, cessation, gay news, Washington Blade

(Photo by Edinaldo E. Santo; courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

NORWALK, Conn. — New data just released from the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that 39 percent of LGB adults said they had used some type of illicit drug over the past year compared to about 17 percent of straight respondents, HealthDay News reports.

About 15 percent of LGB adults said they’d battled substance use disorder vs. 15 percent of straight respondents. Smoking and drinking rates were higher as well — 32 percent smoking for LGB people vs. 21 percent of straight folks. For drinking, it was 64 vs. 56 percent respectively.

However LGB adults seemed to be more amenable to seeking out treatment for a substance-abuse disorder if one developed. The report found that among adults who required substance use treatment, 15.3 percent of LGB adults received it at a specialty facility over the past year, compared with 10.6 percent of straight adults, HealthDay reports.

LGB adults were more than twice as likely as straight adults to have had any kind of mental illness in the past year (37.4 percent versus 17 percent), and also had a higher rate of past year serious mental illness (13 versus 3.6 percent).

However, treatment rates were higher for LGB adults with a mental illness, the researchers said. For adults with any kind of mental illness in the past year, LGB adults were more likely to receive mental health treatment than straight adults (48.5 percent versus 42.6 percent), according to HealthDay.

About 4.3 percent of American adults are either lesbian, gay or bisexual, according to the report.

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