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The LGBT Community And Addiction


Levels of substance misuse and dependence in the LGBT community are extremely higher when compared to those of other squads. Some probable triggers for addiction in this population are discrimination, pressure from society, and other disorders that might be present. The high rate of addiction amount the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer) community is in part due to the challenges the members face. Treatment facilities that cater specifically to sensitive needs of the LGBT community work on any underlying issues that may contribute to the addiction. This is very implemental to the recovery program.


While 9 percent of the general population suffers from substance abuse, it's estimated that it affects between 20-30 percent of the LGBT community.


Hardships Faced By The LGBT Community

The LGBT community is susceptible to addiction at a relatively high rate when compared to the general population.

Those who identify as heterosexual typically don't face the same societal obstacles as those who are LGBT.

LGBT community members will thus often seek refuge in alcohol or other substances to distance themselves from everyday challenges and obstacles. Depression, anger, anxiety, and fear can all be numbed temporarily with these substances.


Some of those challenges are

  • Being stigmatized or discriminated against due to identifying as LGBT
  • Emotional abuse, threats, public mockery and embarrassment, and even hate crimes
  • Being rejected or shunned by loved ones after coming out
  • Work-related discrimination
  • Self-hatred

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Co Occurring Disorders In The LGBT Community

LGBT community members are frequently forced to live their lives hiding their true nature, which is a situation that might cause internal friction. This means that they have to keep their sexual orientation secret due to fear of being rejected and hence need to live a double life when it comes to their sexuality. Mental and emotional conditions can develop from keeping one's sexuality hidden as it takes a huge psychological toll.


The usual mental or emotional disorders within the LGBT group include

  • Major depression
  • Generalized anxiety problems
  • Stress levels increases
  • They may inflict self-injury on themselves or kill themselves

There may also be physical or medical issues related to their sexuality in addition to the societal problems they face. These may as well add to their dependence and they include

  • Uncontrollable sexual behaviour
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Sex or HIV-related anxiety
  • Sexual abuse or attack

A majority of people who are LGBT have a co-occurring sexual or mental disorder that either drove them to a substance abuse problem or is fuelling the abuse. To successfully overcome an addiction, the first step is to identify whether the addict has some co-occurring health problems when planning a program that will help an LGBT overcome his addiction.


LGBT Community Drugs Of Choice

Of the many substances that can be abused, five are used most frequently in the LGBT community.

  • Tobacco
  • When compared to those who identify as Heterosexual, the LGBT community uses tobacco up to 200 percent more.
  • Alcohol
  • A moderate to severe alcohol problems are present in 20-25 percent of the LGBT community.
  • Marijuana
  • Heterosexual men are 3.5 times less prone to marijuana than men who are gay.
  • Amphetamines
  • LGBT individuals are 12.2 times more prone to Amphetamine abuse.
  • Heroin
  • LGBT community members are likely to use Heroin 9.5 times more than straight people.

LGBT Treatment Centres

There is a lack of specific resources available to help LGBT individuals meet their specific needs, which is one reason why they may not seek treatment.

However, there are many treatment programs that are able to deal with the seclusion that LGBT community members frequently feel and the long-lasting consequences of discrimination or leading a double life.

LGBT specific rehabilitation centres can identify any additional mental health problems which will lead to a greater chance of recovery. There is a far greater chance for relapse if these underlying issues are not addressed.


Acquire The Help You Need

There is a disturbing rate of addiction in the LGBT community along with a number of issues and hurdles that they are confronted with on a day to day basis that could lead to substance abuse and addiction.

Through getting in a rehab base that particularizes in LGBT dependence and treatment, you will feel like a section of the majority instead of the minority and be encircled by people that can offer help and advice.

Get in touch with us on 0800 246 1509 if you or a loved one is trying to overcome addiction.