According to a new report, gay people are seven times more likely to take illegal drugs than the rest of the general population, with one in five show signs of dependency on drugs or alcohol.
The report, conducted by the Lesbian and Gay Foundation (LGF) and the University of Central Lancashire, used a sample of over 4,000 people over two years.
More than a third of gay, lesbian and bisexual people took at least one illegal drug in the last month, according to the study.
This compares to 5 percent of the wider population who admitted using a drug in the last month in the Crime Survey for England and Wales.
This is the largest study of its kind to ever be conducted.
The most widely used substances admitted in the study were party drugs, such as cannabis and “poppers” – a liquid nitrite sold in a small bottle and inhaled.
These were followed by powder cocaine, ecstasy, ketamine and amphetamines.
The study found gays were 10 times more likely to use cocaine in the last month than the general population, and 13 times more likely to have used ketamine.
The use of heroin use was similar among both populations.
However crack cocaine use was again higher among the gay community.
David Stuart, education, training and outreach manager at London Friend, the UK’s only targeted LGBT drug and alcohol service, told the paper feelings of “rejection” and “fear” as well as “shame around sex” could contribute to drug use.