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LGBTQ Community Addiction Services by State

LGBTQ Community Addiction Services by State

Drug & Alcohol Addiction Services for the LGBTQ Community in the United States

Substance abuse and alcoholism among the LGBTQ community within the United States are not an uncommon problem, and there are numerous factors that contribute to someone choosing to abuse drugs and alcohol. Many people in the United States who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender will often face social stigma, discrimination, or various challenges because of their sexual orientation. Per the National Institute on Drug Abuse through a national survey on drug use and health, it was found that people of a sexual minority were more than twice as likely to have used illicit drugs within that past year. For example, roughly over 30% had used marijuana, and over 10% had abused prescription pain medications. Many of the surveys and statistics done by the National Institute on Drug Abuse are not necessarily current but do provide a general idea of what is happening. Youth within the LGBTQ community are more likely to attempt suicide than heterosexuals, and transgender youth have the highest risk of developing substance use disorders, and the suicide rate among the transgender community is roughly around 40%.

Being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transsexual does not cause drug addiction, but the stress of being a sexual minority can lead to substance abuse issues. Many youths within a sexual minority are often bullied in school, there is still discrimination, and attacks from other groups. Much of this along with early sexual confusion can lead to substance abuse problems. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration report that two-thirds of Americans, who are aged 12 or older will have used drugs and alcohol in the past 12 months. Unfortunately, among the LGBTQ community, this can be much higher, and much of this can be linked back to facing rejection in their personal and professional lives or being bullied as a child. Unfortunately, drug and alcohol use is an attractive way to relieve stress; binge Definition of the word binge drinking, for example, is significantly more common among the LGBTQ community, and one out of every ten adults within this community has abused prescription pain medication. As mentioned above, one of the common reasons for this is because of minority stress.

Anytime that someone is socially stigmatized, there will be an increased risk for addictive habits to develop. Much of this can start at a young age when an adolescent may be questioning their sexual orientation and may be bullied as a result of it, which can later cause them further emotional trauma as an adult. Once you have discovered drugs and alcohol, this does become an easy way to fix the problem and cope with the stress. For example, LGBTQ homeless youth within the United States has some of the highest rates of illegal drug and alcohol abuse. Historically, many LGBTQ communities have centered around activities that do involve drinking and drug use. Despite this becoming less prevalent within American culture, the statistics still show that those in the LGBTQ community have a higher rate of drug and alcohol abuse. There are also differences between gay men and women with alcohol and drug abuse. Gay men often report a higher rate of lifetime drug use, than gay women; however, gay women are more likely to habitually abuse alcohol than gay men.

Throughout the United States are numerous drug and alcohol treatment services, support programs, and counseling and therapy centers who work directly with the LGBTQ community. Members of a sexual minority will see better outcomes when they attend drug rehab centers who do provide treatment for LGBTQ. Much of the counseling and treatment that will be provided at these specific programs may center around things such as homophobia, transphobia, family problems, and violence, along with social isolation. Other problems within the LGBTQ community that are often addressed at drug rehab centers include mental-health problems or a co-occurring disorder. Problems such as anxiety and depression are common, but all can be treated effectively at a drug rehab program that caters to sexual minorities.


marcel gemme author

Marcel Gemme

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Marcel Gemme has been helping people struggling with addiction for over 19 years. He first started as an intake counselor for a drug rehabilitation center in 2000. During his 5 years as an intake counselor, he helped many addicts get the treatment they needed. He also dealt with the families and friends of those people; he saw first-hand how much strain addiction puts on a family and how it can tear relationships apart. With drug and alcohol problems constantly on the rise in the United States and Canada, he decided to use the Internet as a way to educate and help many more people in both those countries. This was 15 years ago. Since then, Marcel has built two of the largest websites in the U.S. and Canada which reach and help millions of people each year. He is an author and a leader in the field of drug and alcohol addiction. His main focus is threefold: education, prevention and rehabilitation. To this day, he still strives to be at the forefront of technology in order to help more and more people.