What Do We Know About Addiction in the LGBT community?

One of the things about addiction is that it does not overlook any walk of life. Addiction can be any race, gender, profession, economic standing, or sexual orientation. Someone of the LGBT community can become addicted to drugs and alcohol just as easy as everyone else. In fact, statistics show that the LGBT community has a higher percentage of people that become addicted due to the pressures they may feel with prejudice and judgement for being authentic to who they are.

25 percent of persons that identify as LGBT have an addiction compared to the 9 percent of the rest of the United States population.

Even though laws have opened the doors with more rights for people that are lesbian, bi-sexual, gay, or transgender, there is still a long way to go to make the LGBT community feel more accepted. The minority stress that they experience can have a lasting effect on how they deal with the discrimination that is imposed on them merely because of their sexual orientation. Not only does this happen to them when they are out in the real world due to the ignorant stigma that people assume of someone that is of LGBT decent, but family rejection happens often which can lead them down the path to abuse drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism.

As LGBT kids, many were bullied by an unsupportive culture of homophobia that led them to retreat to substance abuse. Because of the intolerance that they endure, they are more prone to turning to drugs and alcohol than letting people, even the ones that are close to them, know that they might be different than what society views as normal. Having to isolate to keep from being ostracized by their peers in school or in their neighborhood may have seemed to be the easiest thing to do it the moment. Although the loneliness that comes with isolating may have dissipated when they were able to numb the pain and sorrow with drugs and alcohol.  

Over the past few years, rehabilitation centers have become much more specialized with what they offer with their treatment programs. While health care issues that may have been overlooked or denied in the past within the LGBT community, there is treatment that is available that can target clinical practices that are specific to people that are lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, or transgender. Finding effective treatment for anyone that is LGBT should take place in an environment that is considered safe and where personal choices, diversity, and sexual orientation is respected.   

If you or someone you know needs help with alcohol or drug addiction, Renewal Recovery Solutions can give you the support that you need to get sober. Our clinical staff and counselors can integrate a model for recovery that combines therapy and discovery to heed lasting results.

Call us today to get started!


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