Substance abuse is an issue that faces all of society. Unfortunately, certain groups have been marginalized when it comes to talking openly about the facts and statistics surrounding substance abuse. One such group is the LGBTQ community.
We here at Laguna View Detox feel that it is important to help shed some light on substance abuse and how it can impact different communities. It’s also important for those suffering to know how and when to get help for addiction.
Today we’ll discuss who the LGBTQ community are, how substance abuse affects the LGBTQ community specifically, and how to get help with addiction.
Who Are the LGBTQ Community?
To understand LGBTQ and substance abuse, you first need to understand the community and the people that are part of it.
The LGBTQ community is broadly defined as those who classify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning. This definition can also be more broadly extend to many other groups including pansexuals and non-binary persons. Typically, the community consists of anyone who does not identify as solely heterosexual.
While the community as a whole is considerable, it is still considered a minority amongst the populace and the individual groups are each much smaller. Because of this and many other factors, members of the community often encounter a lack of acceptance and can face outright bigotry from non-members of the community.
Members of the LGBTQ community are far more prone to have acts of violence and hatred committed against them than non-LGBTQ persons. The level of discrimination for an LGBTQ person is heightened based on other factors as well including, race, religion, regional location, family status, and other factors.
Does Addiction Affect the LGBTQ Community?
Unfortunately, being a part of the LGBTQ community and substance abuse are tied closely together. As we said earlier, members of the community often face higher rates of discrimination and violence as a result of their sexual orientation and as such, the rates of substance abuse are considerably higher than in other communities.
Part of the issue with identifying all of the factors related to substance abuse within the LGBTQ community is due to the fact that it has only become a topic of research very recently. Until now, questions of gender identity and sexual orientation as factors for substance abuse and substance use disorders were not asked nor calculated.
We can see a direct link between environmental factors such as discrimination and violence, and a higher likelihood of substance abuse. Furthermore, it is widely known that day-to-day stressors and lack of proper medical care and oversight can lead to higher rates of abuse.
In a way, this compounds the problem for those in the LGBTQ community, violence and discrimination coupled with a fear of seeking the proper help can make substance abuse and addiction a never-ending cycle.
There are also no signs of decline in substance use compared to other groups where treatment is becoming more prevalent. This is further compounded by the fact that LGBTQ persons with substance abuse problems are more likely to have co-occurring disorders as well such as mental health issues and emotional issues.
How to Get Help With Substance Abuse
It can be difficult to know when to seek help with substance abuse, especially as a member of the LGBTQ community. Please know there are resources available to help those looking to achieve sobriety. You are not alone when it comes to needing help with addiction.