Understanding Lesbian, Bisexual and Queer Women’s Experiences of Alcohol, Substance use and Health: The UnLEASH online cohort study

August 2020

Dr Sonja Memedovic
Scientia Professor Louisa Degenhardt

Other Collaborators: 

Associate Professor Julie Mooney-Somers, Sydney Health Ethics, University of Sydney
Dr Nicola Black, Brain and Mind Centre, University of Sydney
Dr Mohamed Hammoud, The Kirby Institute, UNSW Sydney
Associate Professor Garrett Prestage, The Kirby Institute, UNSW Sydney
Associate Professor Adam Bourne, Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health & Society, La Trobe University
Dr Toby Lea, Centre for Social Research in Health, UNSW Sydney

Project description: 

UnLEASH is an online cohort study of substance use among lesbian, bisexual and queer women in Australia. 

The prevalence of substance use among lesbian, bisexual and queer (LBQ) women in Australia is significantly higher than in the general community, with some evidence of earlier initiation and more problematic use. Existing sources of evidence on substance use among LBQ women in Australia are cross-sectional, geographically limited, and do not capture risk and protective factors of specific relevance to this population (e.g. minority stress, cultural norms). As such, we know little about the patterns and contexts of LBQ women’s substance use over time, and the factors that influence different patterns of use. A cohort study designed for LBQ women will allow investigation of evidence-based and theory-informed causes of problematic substance use and changes in use over time.

The UnLEASH study aims to establish an online cohort of LBQ women in Australia, to investigate:

  1. The patterns and contexts of substance use, and harms associated with use, and
  2. Risk and protective factors for the initiation and cessation of, or changes in substance use over time.

Read more on the NDARC website.