STUDY: Gay And Lesbian College Students At Higher Risk For Alcohol Abuse

A report by scientists at the University of Michigan indicates LGBT college students who face discrimination are more likely to have a problem with alcohol. Published in Substance Abuse and Rehabilitation, the study suggests subtle discrimination, not just blatant homophobia, can impact drinking behaviors.

“Addressing disrespectful, discourteous behaviors on campus may seem unimportant compared to addressing overt discrimination and violence, but this study’s results suggest otherwise,” says U of M social-work professor Michael Woodford, who authored the report.

Almost 2,500 students—including some 400 sexual minorities—were asked to complete an anonymous online survey asking about their drinking and drug use and any situations where they felt they or others had been discriminated against. According to Medical Xpress, LGBT students were also “significantly more likely to report any alcohol or drug use and problematic drinking and problematic drug use,” as compared to their straight classmates.

Ironically, while discussion of harassment and homophobia can be helpful for students, it can also be a trigger, says Woodford. The study revealed that hearing stories of how friends and classmates were mistreated is a risk for misusing or abusing alcohol.

Source: Medical Xpress. Photo via Kyle Sullivan


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