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Brien, Gillian (2010) Communities of interest - young LGBT people. In: Community drugs problem: defining the problem - defending the responses conference, 15 October 2010, Dublin.

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BeLonG To's Drugs Service was set up in late 2006 to support Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender (LGBT) young people (14-23yrs old) in relation to drug and alcohol use. It is a one-worker service and is the only designated LGBT drugs education and prevention service in Ireland.

The BeLonG To experience through delivering this work, which is mirrored in major Irish research, shows that LGBT young people can experience marginalisation, fear, isolation, bullying, harassment, family and peer rejection, which can lead to them being more vulnerable to drug & alcohol use.

The service was set up in conjunction with a national study of drug use amongst LGBT young people

Supporting LGBT Lives
• Most common age people knew they were LGBT = 12
• Most common age they first told anyone = 17
• 58% reported homophobic bullying in their school
• 25% were physically threatened by their school peers
• 27% of LGBT people had self-harmed at least once
• 50% of LGBT people under 25 years had seriously thought about ending their lives
• 20% of LGBT people under 25 years had attempted suicide at least once

Gillian Brien informed the audience that:
• Research has shown that 65% of young people who accessed the service had used drugs before and that LGBT young people are 2 to 5 times more likely to use drugs.
• Most young people realise their sexual preference when they are twelve yet most only come out to friends or family when they are seventeen and therefore carry a lot of emotion and are vulnerable to substance abuse.
• The LGBT community want to be included on the Treatment and Rehabilitation Board and on Drugs Task Forces because their voices need to be heard since they make up 10% of the population.
• The common theme between all of the 'communities of interest' is inclusion


Item Type
Conference or Workshop Item
Publication Type
Irish-related, Audio / Visual
Drug Type
All substances
Intervention Type
Screening / Assessment
Date
2010
Event Title
Community drugs problem: defining the problem - defending the responses conference
Event Location
Dublin
Event Dates
15 October 2010
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