Each year in June, LGBTQIA+ communities and their allies celebrate Pride Month with social gatherings, parades, festivals, art events, educational sessions, and more. Aside from existing as a time for celebration, Pride Month also provides a crucial platform to peacefully protest injustice, raise awareness of issues facing LGBTQIA+ communities, and advocate for equal rights.
When it comes to substance use and co-occurring disorders, research indicates that individuals who identify as LGBTQIA+ tend to experience higher rates of substance use than the overall population. Data from the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) breaks down the numbers as follows:
- Marijuana Use — Nearly 40% of LGBTQIA+ adults over 18 reported past year marijuana use, compared to just over 16% of the overall adult population.
- Opioid Use — Roughly 9% of LGBTQIA+ adults over 18 reported misusing opioids (including prescription opioids and heroin) compared to 3.8% of the overall population
- Alcohol Use — Roughly 12.4% of LGBTQIA+ adults over 18 report an alcohol use disorder, compared to 10.1% in the general population.