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Homosexual, Lesbians, Bisexual, Heterosexual and Drug Abuse among High School Teens

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TEENS SPEAKING OUT

TEENS SPEAKING OUT

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Though overall usage rates have decreased in recent years, drug and alcohol abuse among teenagers remains a cause for concern in the United States. The problem is particularly acute among certain high-risk demographic groups – one of which is comprised of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) teens. A study by Dr. Michael P. Marshal of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center revealed that LGBT teens are 190 percent more likely to use drugs and alcohol than are heterosexual teens, and that the usage rate is even higher among certain subgroups. For example, Marshal’s study, which was published in the April 2008 edition of the journal Addiction, documented that the prevalence of drug or alcohol use among bisexual youth is 340 percent greater than the rate among straight teens. Among lesbian youth, the number rises to 400 percent. Discrimination & Victimization Marshal, whose team analyzed data that had been collected during 18 studies between 1994 and 2006, attributed the spike in drug and alcohol use among LGBT teens to the considerable societal pressures faced by the members of this demographic group. “Homophobia, discrimination and victimization are largely what are responsible for these substance use disparities in young gay people,” Marshal said in a March 25, 2008 press release that was posted on the Addiction website. “History shows that when marginalized groups are oppressed and do not have equal opportunities and equal rights, they suffer. Our results show that gay youth are clearly no exception.” This report is about the failure of government teacher and administrators, to fulfill their obligation to ensure that all youth enjoy their right to education in an environment where they are protected from discrimination, harassment, and violence... Gay youth spend an inordinate amount of energy plotting … how to become invisible so they will not be verbally and physically attacked. …No child should have to go to school in survival mode.

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