New report on drug & alcohol treatment for LGB&T people

13 July 2014

‘Out of your mind’ is a new report examining how drug and alcohol treatment services can be improved for lesbian, gay, bisexual & trans (LGBT) people. The report aims to encourage commissioners and providers of drug and alcohol treatment services to be more mindful of the support needs of LGBT people when planning and delivering services.

The report comes as concerns are rising about the risks associated with ‘chemsex’, the use of certain drugs in sexualised settings, particularly amongst gay and bisexual men.

Out Of Your Mind draws together the latest research on drug and alcohol use by LGBT people, looking at how use has changed over recent years, as new harms and treatment needs related to newer drugs like mephedrone and GHB/GBL have emerged. The report draws on interviews and discussions with LGBT people in treatment and commissioners of services, and makes recommendations for Public Health England, local Public Health teams, drug & alcohol treatment services and front line staff, and researchers. It also includes some practical toolkits to help local planning and drive service improvements.

London Friend Chief Executive Monty Moncrieff says: “Our research has found very poor representation of LGBT treatment need in local needs assessment, and our clients have told us treatment services don’t always understand the drugs they are using, or how they’re being used. It feels like LGBT issues are literally out of people’s minds when they plan and deliver drug and alcohol services. We hope this report will encourage better consideration of the different treatment and support needs LGBT people have.”

The report also coincides with the publication of the draft Strategic Framework for improving the health and wellbeing of gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM) by Public Health England.

Monty Moncrieff says: “Our Antidote drug and alcohol service has seen very big changes in the way chemsex drugs are affecting the men we work with, and we’re seeing a rise in injecting, people becoming dependent on GHB/GBL, and increasing concerns about people’s emotional wellbeing that we weren’t seeing even five years ago. The MSM framework from Public Health England is really welcome, and we’re very pleased to see some of their planned actions reflect our own recommendations, but we also need to think about the treatment needs of lesbian women as well as bisexual and trans people too.”

Out Of Your Mind has been produced as part of a project funded by a Department of Health grant.

The report can be accessed here

Updated: 13 July 2014