The number of substance abusers among trans teens is shocking

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A new study has discovered that transgender teenagers are twice as likely to have substance addiction in comparison to cisgender ones. Writing in the Journal of School Health, the study from Chapman University examined data from hundreds of Californian schools to discover the terrifying statistics. The study covered nearly 5,000 transgender students and over 600,000 cisgender students for a two-year period. It looked at recent, in-school and lifetime use of a number of substances, including cocaine and ecstasy, prescription medications and cough medicine. The study pointed to the social difficulties that trans teens face, saying: “Transgender adolescents face tremendous social stress in families and schools, which often leads to behavioural health disparities.” According to the study, trans students were over twice as likely as cisgender students to use cocaine or methamphetamine, most of them also smoke and are addicted to tobacco. Susie Green, on behalf of trans youth charity Mermaids, explained: “The findings from this study come as no surprise, especially when taken in context with the recent Stonewall figures in terms of bullying, self-harm and suicidality. Transgender students face discrimination and prejudice, with 1 in 9 pupils receiving death threats. Coping mechanisms when living in a hostile environment will be many and varied, and unfortunately, the use of drugs and alcohol is a route that many young people turn to in times of stress.”

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