Substance use in the LGBTQ+ community

In the CARE lab, we are also examining risk and resilience factors for alcohol, cigarette, and other substance use patterns and harms based on gender identity and sexuality. Amongst other factors, stress associated with being part of a minoritized gender and/or sexual identity group may place LGBTQ+ individuals at risk for increased alcohol, cigarette, and other substance use. Presently, few interventions are available to address these processes that contribute to substance use among sexual minority individuals. We are conducting a number of studies to clarify the nature of substance use among LGBTQ+ individuals to inform these intervention efforts.

Alcohol use in LGBTQ young adults

LGBTQ+ youth, young adults, and adults engage in heavy drinking. We are interested in examining factors that increase drinking could be modified and targeted as part of interventions, such as peer influences, minority stress experiences, and resilience factors. We are conducting a number of secondary data analyses and collecting new data to evaluate such factors, with careful attention to how these factors may impact different subgroups of LGBTQ+ individuals across development.

Identifying and addressing heavy drinking in transgender individuals

We know very little about experiences with alcohol use and related harms in transgender individuals. We are conducting a number of studies to clarify the relationship between alcohol using patterns and the experience of harms in transgender individuals. Further, we are working to refine approaches to identify problem drinking in this population, as many existing approaches are not gender inclusive.

Polysubstance use patterns

Beyond looking at the risk and protective factors for using alcohol use alone, we are interested in situations when LGBTQ+ use multiple substance like alcohol, cigarettes, and marijuana use. These patterns of multiple substance use may be particularly harmful for individual health and may require tailored interventions.