Drink, Drugs. and You. Information and advice for the LGBT community

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1 Drink, Drugs and You Information and advice for the LGBT community

2 Why use drugs and alcohol? There are many reasons why people use drugs and alcohol:- For fun and relaxation To cover up physical or emotional pain To feel more confident or cover up low self esteem To cope with family or relationship problems Lesbian and bisexual women are five times more likely to have taken drugs than straight women To enhance sexual experiences or lower inhibitions To rebel or make a statement Boredom To experiment with different states of mind These could apply to anyone regardless of their sexual identity. There are 40 units of alcohol in a one litre bottle of vodka

3 Some of the reasons are more specific to Some LGBT people:- Feelings of confusion about sexuality or gender identity To cope with bullying or discrimination LGBT Culture being on the scene may mean a social life which revolves around pubs and clubs Body image some LGBT people feel pressure to conform to gay media images of what a body should look like and use substances to try and achieve this. For example speed or cocaine to lose weight or steroids to body build Steroid abuse can lead to wild mood swings and severe acne Isolation or loneliness not feeling accepted by friends, family or society Pressure within the LGBT community some people feel pressure to use drugs or alcohol to be recognised or accepted by their peers Coping with coming out or handling other people s assumptions Stress and alienation managing feelings of difference and not fitting in Using cocaine increases risk of a heart attack

4 Staying Alive A safer night out START Charge your phone Eat before you party MIND THE GAP Avoid rivers and drops Watch your drink SOS bus, door staff or police for help If in doubt call 999 Think and plan Stay hydrated Only money for tonight Protection Spacers of non-alcoholic drinks Look out for your mates Pre-book, plan your trip home FINISH Daily alcohol units limit Men 3-4 Women 2-3 Pint lager 2 units Shot Spirit 1 unit Alcopop 1.5 units

5 If you are using drugs and alcohol You will be much safer if you do not use drugs and alcohol. If you still choose to use there are things you can do to reduce the risks: Don t mix taking more than one type of drug or mixing drugs and alcohol is more risky Stay hydrated drink sips of water throughout the night no more than one pint an hour. Cool down if you get overheated Avoid double dropping taking large amounts of a drug in one go increases your chance of overdosing, becoming ill or dying It takes your body about 1 hour to get rid of 1 unit of alcohol Safer snorting always chop powders finely, use alternate nostrils and never share snorting equipment Safer injecting never share any injecting equipment with anyone and don t use alone Overdose If you are worried phone 999 and ask for an ambulance straight away. Check the person is breathing and put them in the recovery position. Cocaine use among gay men is almost twice as high as the general population

6 Where to get help If you are concerned about your own drug or alcohol use or worried about someone else you can contact the Matthew Project for friendly advice, support, information, counselling or treatment. Services for young people Matthew Project Under18 Service Helpline or Matthew Project Youth Team Works with young people aged One in five drink spiking victims are men BLAH LGB Youth provides support for young lesbian, gay and bisexual people and those questioning their sexuality between the ages of 13-25yrs. BLAH Youth Groups Phone support We also provide outreach work in schools, please contact us by either phone or us for more details on this service. Website Services for adults We have centres in Norwich, Thetford and Cromer call the Matthew Project 24 Hour helpline on or see for more info. There are 256 calories in a pint of lager

7 IN TRAN communication for all Where you see this sign we provide interpreters or translation to your language This leaflet has been produced by and for young LGBT people in partnership with The Matthew Project and Norfolk LGBT Project. The Matthew Project Reg. Charity No: Ltd Company No: Published May 2011

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