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Ways to Help LGBTQ Youth Identify Substance Use Disorders

Members of the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer) community experience a larger number of challenges that have contributed towards a high rate of addiction.

According to a research study 20 to 30 percent of the LGBTQ community face substance abuse, compared to about 9 percent the population as a whole.

LGBTQ-specific treatment centers are quite sensitive that covers the needs of the LGBTQ community and address any cardinal aspects that may have led to addiction. This is extremely important to the recovery process.  Current research suggests that treatment should address unique or specific factors in these patients’ lives, such as homophobia/transphobia, social isolation, lack of acceptance from family and violence.

What are the Challenges the LGBTQ Community Faces

The LGBTQ face lot of social challenges such as isolation and lack of acceptance on daily basis which trigger them towards substance abuse. The challenges include:

  1. They face stigmatization and discrimination from society due to sexual orientation.
  2. They are ridiculed, abused, humiliated and also face hate crimes.
  3. They face shame or rejection from family or friends.
  4. On basis of sexual orientation, they often encounter with loss of employment or not receiving promotions

LGBTQ people often turn to drugs or alcohol to reduce the prejudices they face in their daily lives. These substances can help temporarily numb discomforts such as depression, anxiety, anger or fear but may have many long-term negative effects.

Because of negative stigma and discrimination, transgender people are particularly prone to use drugs or other substances to cope with fear or loneliness. A new research study suggests that transgender students are 2.5 times more likely to use cocaine or methamphetamine. They are also twice as likely to get addicted to prescribed drugs (such as prescription opioids or benzodiazepines).

The members of LGBTQ community fear of rejection and isolation from society as a result they hide their sexual orientation. And hiding sexual orientation can take a greater toll on mental health of individual.

Therefore, greater number of LGBTQ community members face major depression, anxiety, high level stress, suicidal thoughts and self-harm.

Along with psychological issues LGBTQ people may experience physical disorder such as compulsive sexual behavior, sexual dysfunctions, sexual abuse, HIV and sexual anxiety.

Treatment Programs for LGBTQ community 

There are several treatment options that focus on the long-term consequences of the isolation that LGBTQ community members. They focus on reviving them from discrimination. Specialized LGBTQ rehabilitation centers can help identify comorbidities, thereby promoting long-term recovery. If the underlying cause of distorted mental health is due to addiction, then chance relapse will become higher.

The level of addiction in the LGBT community is worrying, they face various challenges and obstacles every day may which leads to drug abuse problems. When they enter a rehabilitation center that specializes in addiction and LGBTQ treatment, they start feeling like a part of the majority and not a minority. They will be surrounded by people who can provide support and encouragement.

Nobody should be discriminated on basis of sexual orientation. Sexual preference is simply one’s choice.

If you or a loved one is struggling with chemical dependency and a mental health issues and is looking for a reliable behavioral health center, get in touch with the 24/7 Recovery Helpline by calling our 24/7 alcohol helpline 855-441-4405. 24/7 Recovery Helpline is linked with multiple behavioral health centers that offer comprehensive evidence-based treatment plans for patients dealing with substance abuse issues, as well as mental health disorders. You can also chat online with our experts available 24/7 at our drug addiction help online to get guidance about dual-diagnosis treatment centers and programs offered.

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