The EMIS survey carried out in 2017 found that 31% of gay and bisexual men in Ireland suffered from alcohol use disorder. For context, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports that 8.5% of the general Irish population have alcohol use problems. For Irish men the figure is 13%. It appears gay and bisexual men are disproportionately affected by alcohol use disorder.
The pandemic is making the situation even worse. Recent data from the United States (U.S.) found that 46% of transgender female students and 35% of queer-identifying students reported increased alcohol use since the start of COVID-19.
The pandemic has increased anxiety about the future and stress for most people. For the LGBTQ+ community it has been even more challenging. They could be facing stress due to strains to family relationships because of their sexuality. And their usual support systems in the community have taken a hit due to COVID-19 and physical distancing measures.
There is a need for more support and alcohol prevention to help the LGBTQ+ community specifically during and after the current health crisis.