A unique project aimed at supporting LGBT people affected by alcohol and drug issues has been set up in Aberdeen
A unique project aimed at supporting LGBT people affected by alcohol and drug issues has been set up in Aberdeen.
Charities Gay Men’s Health (GMH) and Drugs Action (DA) will be offering a confidential drop in service, with no appointments necessary, which will allow access to immediate advice, information and support
It will also be accessible to friends and family members affected.
Drawing on the expertise and experience of both agencies, the project will launch on Tuesday, 8 September and will run weekly from 6pm-8pm thereafter on Tuesdays at GMH premises, 246 George Street, Aberdeen.
Research by the LGBT Foundation found that across all age groups, LGBT people are much more likely to use drugs than the general population and problematic patterns of drinking is more prevalent among LGBT people.
The LGBT population is significantly affected by many health inequalities and this includes substance dependence
In addition, a recent needs assessment undertaken by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and NHS Lothian highlighted that alcohol and drugs are an issue reported by men who were at risk of HIV.
Worryingly a third of substance dependent respondents stated they would not seek information, advice or treatment, even if they were concerned about their drug or alcohol use.
A needle exchange service and infection tests will be immediately available on site as well as a rapid referral to sexual health services.
Alastair Rose, head of operations for GMH, said: “The LGBT population is significantly affected by many health inequalities and this includes substance dependence.
“GMH, have particularly become aware of an upsurge in drugs being used by men who have sex with men for the purposes of sex, or chemsex.
“Organisations across all sectors and agencies must come together to provide accessible services for LGBT populations. This new service is demonstrative of the real value of organisations working together to provide services that can meet the specific needs of LGBT people in the north of Scotland.”
Simon Pringle, service manager at DA, said: “We are really excited about this new project that will hopefully reduce some of the barriers for those from LGBT communities accessing support for alcohol and drug issues.”