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 and published in the American Journal of Public Health.
As part of the most recent National Youth Risk Behavior Survey—the largest national survey on adolescent health—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 also were at greater risk for having used harder…