Home > Briefing: LGBTQ+ people and alcohol.

Institute of Alcohol Studies. (2021) Briefing: LGBTQ+ people and alcohol. London: Institute of Alcohol Studies.

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  • An estimated 1.4 million people over the age of 16 in the UK identified as lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB) in 2019, according to the Office for National Statistics.
  • Patterns in alcohol use vary among different orientations and gender identities, but overall there is a higher prevalence of hazardous drinking among the LGBTQ+ population compared to the general population, particularly among women.
  • Most research about alcohol harm focuses on sexual health outcomes among gay and bisexual men, and has focused on the relationships between alcohol use and sexual health and HIV. LGBTQ+ people experience around double the odds of alcohol dependence compared to the general population, and also experience a higher prevalence of mental illnesses that can co-occur with alcohol use.
  • 3 percent of people in alcohol treatment identified as gay or lesbian in 2019-2020. Significant barriers to receiving healthcare exist for LGBTQ+ people.
  • There are many gaps in knowledge around LGBTQ+ people and alcohol. Surveys and studies should present a greater variety of intersectional data on protected characteristics. More research is needed to represent LGBTQ+ women and trans people to prevent alcohol harm and make services feel safer and more inclusive.
Item Type
Publication Type
International, Report
Drug Type
Intervention Type
Prevention, Harm reduction
July 2021
11 p.
Institute of Alcohol Studies
Corporate Creators
Institute of Alcohol Studies
Place of Publication

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