People identifying as LGBTIQ and alcohol, tobacco & other drugs in Australia

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, last updated

Key Findings:

  • People identifying as lesbian, gay or bisexual have relatively high rates of substance use. However, there is a lack of comprehensive data available on the associated harms for this population group.
  • Almost one in 5 (18.7%) people identifying as homosexual or bisexual reported daily tobacco smoking in 2016, comapred with 12% of heterosexual people.
  • Over a quarter (25.8%) of people identifying as homosexual or bisexual reported drinking at levels exceeding lifetime risk guidelines in 2016, compared with 17.2% of heterosexual people.
  • In 2016, 42% of people identifying as homosexual or bisexual reported drinking at levels exceeding single occasion risk guidelines, compared with 26% of heterosexual people.
  • In 2016, 41.7% of people identifying as homosexual or bisexual recently used any illicit drug, compared with 14.5% of heterosexual people.

More information is available in the People identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex or queer (LGBTIQ) fact sheet (PDF)

Australian Burden of Disease Study: Illicit Drug Use, Intimate Partner Violence, Unsafe Sex

 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Last updated: 

Burden of disease is a measure of the years of healthy life lost from living with, or dying from disease and injury. A portion of this burden is preventable, being due to modifiable risk factors. This report provides information on the deaths and burden of disease due to risk factors included in the Australian Burden of Disease Study 2015. 

New analyses of the key drivers of change over time in the burden of disease due to selected risk factors have recently been added to these data visualisations (August 2020).

The following excerpts may be of interest:

Or you can see all the data here

 

 

Special issue of Drugs and Alcohol Today: ChemSex – Apps, drugs and the right to pleasure

Emerald Publishing Limited, 2019

This special edition of Drugs and Alcohol Today, entitled “Chemsex – Apps, drugs and the right to pleasure”, acknowledges an aspect of drug taking that is often ignored in the discourse on the “scourge” of drug abuse – that drugs enhance pleasure.

Amidst the pleasure brought on by “chems”, there has been pain. Drug overdoses and deaths fuelled by a prohibition that supports an illicit market of unlabelled, often adulterated drugs and fear that calling an ambulance will implicate you in a crime

Chemsex is a unique phenomenon, requiring unique public health responses. The melding of smart phone apps, spatial data and real time “personal adverts requires a significant re-think and re-design when developing public health responses”.

This issue publishes work from experts that help gay communities to mobilise their own responses. It takes the onus off public health policy to respond, and respectfully recognises the agency and resilience within gay communities, to formulate culturally and contextually competent community responses to chemsex.

Free access to this special issue until March 31st

 

 

 

In debates about drug use, fun is important

The Conversation, February 8, 2019 6.07am AEDT

Young (and older) people use drugs and alcohol for fun, enjoyment and socialisation. Understanding the social nature of drug use reveals why fun-seeking is so compelling.

When people describe fun, they are often talking about an experience of social connection and belonging. Fun is not insignificant in human lives.

Understanding this might help to make sense of why “just say no” messages are so often ignored.

Gay men having chemsex are five times more likely to have a new HIV diagnosis than other gay men

aidsmap/nam,  23 May 2018

Gay and bisexual men who reported engaging in chemsex (the use of specific drugs to enhance or facilitate sex) were five times more likely to be newly diagnosed with HIV, nine times more likely to be diagnosed with hepatitis C and four times more likely to be diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection during a 13-month follow-up period, according to London data published this week in HIV Medicine.

Lives of Substance (new website)

National Drug Research Institute (NDRI), in collaboration with Healthtalk Australia, Monash University and Centre for Social Research in Health (CSRH), 

The Lives of Substance website has two aims. First, it aims to support people who consider themselves to have an alcohol or other drug addiction, dependence or habit, and second, it aims to inform the public by sharing personal stories of these experiences.

The media has long been filled with stories of drug use and addiction, but these stories often rely on stereotypes and offer few clues about the range of people affected by addiction issues, the variety of experiences people have and the many ways they cope and even thrive. Lives of Substance aims to fill in the many gaps in public discussions of addiction, to counter stigmatising misconceptions, and to promote understanding and more effective community responses.

The website is based on a carefully conducted research project that collected detailed life stories of people who consider themselves to have an addiction, dependence or drug habit. These stories were analysed by a team of highly experienced researchers, and key themes were identified. These are presented here using video re-enactments, original audio recordings and written extracts from the interviews.

This website is based on qualitative research conducted in Australia by researchers from Curtin University’s National Drug Research Institute (NDRI), in collaboration with Healthtalk Australia, Monash University and the University of New South Wales’ Centre for Social Research in Health (CSRH).

Access website here