What are LGBTQ+ people’s experiences of alcohol services in Scotland? A qualitative study of service users and service providers.

What are LGBTQ+ people’s experiences of alcohol services in Scotland? A qualitative study of service users and service providers.

The LGBTQ+ community is disproportionately affected by alcohol. LGBTQ+ people are more likely to drink excessively and become dependent on alcohol than those who identify as heterosexual or cisgender.

The new Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) research on LGBTQ+ people’s experiences of alcohol services was led by Professor Carol Emslie with Dr Elena Dimova, Dr Rosaleen O’Brien, Professor Lawrie Elliott and Dr Jamie Frankis, from the University’s Substance Use research group in the Research Centre for Health (ReaCH) and was funded by Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems (SHAAP). The study investigates both service users’ and service providers’ experiences and includes some concerning findings.

Amongst service users interviewed, two primary themes surfaced in regards to alcohol in the LGBTQ+ community: (1) the central role of alcohol in the community and (2) barriers to accessing treatment and support. Respondents were concerned that excessive drinking was normalised among LGBTQ+ people and that there was a lack of LGBTQ+ alcohol-free spaces in Scotland. Respondents also identified specific barriers to accessing alcohol services, including: concerns about judgement and discrimination, services not being perceived as LGBTQ+ friendly, and a lack of discussion of sexuality and gender from service providers.

In September 2022, a free to access e-learning course on LGBTQI+ Substance Use was launched by Scottish Drugs Forum in partnership with Glasgow Council on Alcohol, Kinder Stronger Better, and Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership: Introductory online course launched for LGBTQI+ Substance Use – SDF – Scottish Drugs Forum.

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Created Date: 23rd Mar 2022
Last Updated: 23rd Mar 2022