Edmonton LGBTQ2S+ Substance Use Survey

Edmonton LGBTQ2S+ Substance Use Survey


We know LGBTQ2S+ individuals use substances at higher rates than the general population. However, very little is known at a local level about the experiences of LGBTQ2S+ individuals who use substances and their access to relevant harm reduction tools, supports, and services. Funded by Alberta Health’s Opioid Awareness Grant, the EMHC, Fruit Loop, and the Edmonton 2 Spirit Society designed and delivered a survey aimed at filling these knowledge gaps.The survey was delivered using Google Forms and was promoted primarily via social media (i.e. Facebook and Twitter). Responses were received from July 28, 2018 to September 2, 2018.


Respondent Inclusion Criteria:

In order to participate in the survey, respondents had to meet two criteria:

Respondents had to Identify as a sexual or gender minority; or report having had sex with a person of the same gender in the last twelve months.

Respondents had to reporting having used substances in the last twelve months (other than alcohol and marijuana).

Note: Participants were advised that substance use, for the purposes of this survey, did not include the use of prescription drugs, if they are being used as prescribed. However, use of prescription drugs without a prescription or more often/frequently than prescribed was considered substance use for the purposes of the survey.

Of the 206 people who started the survey, 135 respondents met the two inclusion criteria and completed the remainder of the survey.



Here is a snapshot of who completed the survey:

Location: Nearly all respondents lived in the Edmonton area (respondents provided the first three digits of their postal code)

Age: 40% were aged 18-24, 39% were aged 25-34, 13% were aged 35-44, ~8% were 45+

Gender: 43% Cisgender Male, 32% Cisgender Female, 16% Non-Binary, 8% Trans Male, 5% Trans Female [Note: individuals could select more than one option]

Sexual Orientation: 40% gay, 30% pansexual, 27% queer, 22% Bisexual, 9% Lesbian [Note: Individuals could select more than one option]

16% of respondents identified as a person with a disability

12% of respondents identified as First Nations, Metis, or Inuit

10% of respondents identified as belonging to a racialized group



While the survey is a useful tool to better understand community substance use, there are some limitations. Some of these limitations include:

Convenience Sampling: By using social media networks of partners to recruit respondents, the survey sample was likely not representative of all Edmonton LGBTQ2S+ individuals who use substances.

Cross-Sectional: Cross-Sectional surveys measure the experiences of respondents in one place, at one time. These surveys cannot measure changes in a population over time.

Demographics: The audience was younger and more male than the broader Edmonton LGBTQ2S+ population likely is.


Significant Findings

Below you will find several infographics we’ve created to showcase findings of interest. Infographics are shareable and print copies are available upon request.

[Note: The “peernpeer.ca” url at the bottom of each infographic will be live as of June 3, 2019. However, both the email and phone number are live and accessible at the time of this posting.]















If you need to speak to someone about your substance use – whether you want to stop using substances, use substances more safely, or change how substances impact your sex life, contact the Peer N Peer team at connect@peernpeer.ca or 587-599-7290. We offer one-on-one counselling, screening and referrals services, and access to harm reduction supplies. All of our services are free-of-charge.


The Opioid Awareness project is made possible by Alberta Health. The Peer n Peer project is made possible by the Public Health Agency of Canada.