Introduction

Welcome to the LGBTQ+ Substance use & Treatment Experiences Survey!


Participant Information Sheet

 

We would like to invite you to take part in a research study being conducted by a team of researchers from the University of South Wales in collaboration with Gwent Drug, Alcohol Services (GDAS). Before you decide, you need to understand why the research is being conducted and what it would involve for you as a participant.

 

We want to find out more about the experiences of LGBTQ+ groups in relation to their alcohol and drug use. The survey also aims to find out about treatment experiences and whether there is an underrepresentation of LGBTQ+ groups within treatment services, and if so, why this might be. We need your help in order to achieve these aims! 

 

Participation is voluntary. There is no obligation for you to take part, although, we really hope that you will! The survey is completely anonymous and there is no way that your responses can be linked back to you. At the end of the questionnaire you will be asked if you want to take part in a prize draw to win one of three £50 Argos vouchers. You will then be directed to a different survey questionnaire, where you will be asked to provide your email address should you win the prize. 

 

The two surveys (LGBTQ+ substance use survey and prize draw) and their respective questionnaires are completely separate and cannot be connected if you would like to take part. 

 

Background and aims of the research

This project aims to increase understanding of how people within the LGBTQ+ community experience substance use and their engagement with current service provision. The study will be in collaboration with Gwent Drug, Alcohol Services (GDAS).

People within the LGBTQ+ community are at higher risk of having mental health issues, suicidal ideation, substance use and self-harm, than heterosexual and cis gendered people. It has been reported by Stonewall that 16% (1 in 6) of LGBTQ+ people drink alcohol almost every day and a further 13% (1 in 8) LGBTQ+ people aged 18-24 took drugs at least once a month. 

Further, LGBTQ+ people demonstrate a higher likelihood of being substance dependent and have high levels of substance dependency. Research suggests that more LGBTQ+ people use stimulant drugs and use opiates to a similar extent as people in the rest of the population.

The primary research objective is to conduct research that increases our  understanding of LGBTQ+ people’s substance use problems and their help seeking behaviours.

The project has two broad aims: (1) to increase understanding of substance use problems among people within the LGBTQ+ community, and (2) to identify the barriers to/facilitators of substance use treatment entry among LGBTQ+ people.  By drawing on the lived experiences of LGBTQ+ people with substance use problems, the research will help to fill an important gap in knowledge and ultimately reduce harm and save lives.

What will happen if I agree to take part?

If you agree to take part, you will be asked to answer a series of questions covering a range of issues relating to drug and alcohol use. The questionnaire includes a mix of closed questions (where you will be asked to select your answer from the options provided) and open questions (where you will have the opportunity to write more detailed responses) . The entire survey should take no more than 20 minutes to complete.

Once you have finished, please be sure to press the 'Finish' button at the bottom of the final page. 

Do I have to take part in the study?

This survey is entirely voluntary and your decision to take part, or not, will have no bearing on the support that you may be receiving. You are under no obligation to answer any of the questions. You can leave the survey at any point and answers will only be recorded once the 'Finish' button is clicked at the end. 

Will my information be stored securely and confidentially? 

The survey is anonymous, and it will not be possible to link the information you provide back to you. We advise that you do not provide any names or identifying information within your responses. In the unlikely event that this does occur, this information will be excluded from our datasets. Because all responses will be anonymised, once information has been submitted it will not be possible to withdraw. Data wil be stored securely on University servers accessible only by the research team. 

Ethical Approval

Ethical approval for this study has been granted by the University of South Wales' Faculty of Life Sciences and Education Research Ethics Committee. 

Further Information

If you are unhappy with any part of the research being conducted and would like to discuss concerns to make a complaint, please contact the SURG team at University of South Wales (see below for details). Alternatively, in the event the complaint is unresolved, please contact the USW Research Governance Officer, Jonathan Sinfield (Jonathan.sinfield@southwales.ac.uk.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. If there is anything you are unsure of, or have any questions connected to the research, please do not hesitate to contact Shannon Murray (Shannon.murray@southwales.ac.uk), Katy Holloway (katy.holloway@southwales.ac.uk), or Marian Buhociu (marian.buhociu@southwales.ac.uk).