LGBTQ and Addiction

Rates of drug abuse and addiction in the LGBTQ community are disturbingly higher than those of other groups. Discrimination, societal pressures and co-occurring disorders are just a few potential triggers for drug abuse in this population.

The LGBTQ Community and Addiction

gay couple

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

An estimated 20 to 30 percent of the LGBTQ community abuses substances, compared to about 9 percent of the general population.

LGBTQ-specific treatment centers are sensitive to the needs of that community and address any underlying aspects that may have caused an addiction. This is instrumental to the recovery process.

Get started on the road to recovery.
sidebar_cta_img

Challenges the LGBTQ Community Faces

The LGBTQ community is prone to substance abuse at a disproportionate rate compared to that of the general population. This is due in part to a number of societally imposed obstacles that they face, often on a daily basis, that those who identify as heterosexual typically don’t.

A few of these challenges include:

  • Discrimination or stigmatization based on sexual orientation
  • Hate crimes; emotional abuse, threats, public humiliation or ridicule
  • Rejection or shame from family or friends after coming out
  • Loss of employment or not receiving promotions
  • Internalized homophobia or self-hatred

Oftentimes, LGBTQ individuals will turn to drugs or alcohol as a way to self-medicate from the prejudice they face in everyday society. Substances can help temporarily numb uncomfortable feelings they may be experiencing, such as depression, anxiety, anger or fear.

Common Co-occurring Disorders Among LGBTQ Community

An aspect that may provide internal conflict for members of the LGBTQ community is that oftentimes, they are forced to live a “closeted” life. This is where they hide their sexuality from others in fear of rejection, and lead a double life in regards to acting on their sexual orientation. Keeping one’s sexuality a secret is a big psychological toll that may lead to the development of mental or emotional conditions or disorders.

Common psychological or emotional disorders among the LGBTQ community include:

  • Major depression
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • High levels of stress
  • Suicide attempts or self-harming tendencies

In addition to the societal challenges they face, an LGBTQ individual may also be experiencing physical or health issues related to their sexuality. These can also contribute to an addiction and may include:

  • Compulsive sexual behavior
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Sex or HIV-related anxiety
  • Sexual abuse or assault

Many individuals who identify as LGBTQ have a co-occurring mental or sexual disorder that either led to a substance abuse problem or is perpetuating this abuse. When considering which treatment option is best for an LGBTQ individual, there should be a focus on addressing any co-occurring disorders to allow for the highest chance of sustained sobriety while in recovery.

Background image

Ready to get help?

Don’t waste another second. Enter your number to receive a call from a compassionate treatment expert.
Don’t waste another second. Call now to speak with a compassionate treatment expert.

    Drugs of Choice Within LGBTQ Community

    While many substances can be addictive, there are five that are abused most frequently within the LGBTQ community.

    • Tobacco

      Gay and transgender individuals use tobacco up to 200 percent more than those who identify as heterosexual.

    • Alcohol

      Between 20 and 25 percent of the LGBTQ community have moderate to severe alcohol dependency.

    • Marijuana

      Gay men are 3.5 times more likely to use marijuana than straight males.

    • Amphetamines

      Members of the LGBTQ community are 12.2 times more likely to use amphetamines.

    • Heroin

      LGBTQ individuals are 9.5 times more likely to use heroin than heterosexual individuals.

    See how Jerry
    overcame his
    addiction.
    Jerry Lawson sitting in a chair

    Treatment Centers For LGBTQ Community

    One of the reasons that LGBTQ individuals may be hesitant to get help is the lack of resources available to them that address their individual needs.

    Thankfully, there are various treatment programs that focus on the isolation that members of the LGBTQ community often experience, as well as the lasting effects of conducting a “closeted” life or being the victim of discrimination.

    LGBTQ-specific rehab centers help pinpoint any co-occurring mental health disorders, which helps with lasting healing and recovery. Without addressing the underlying reason to use or any conditions that may be contributing to an addiction, there is a far greater chance for relapse.

    Get The Help You Need

    The LGBTQ community’s rate of addiction is concerning, as well as the various challenges and obstacles these individuals face on a daily basis that can contribute to a substance abuse problem.

    By entering a rehab center that specializes in LGBTQ addiction and care, you will feel like part of the majority rather than the minority, and be surrounded by individuals that can provide support and encouragement.

    If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction, please contact us now.

    Questions about treatment?

    Get confidential help 24/7. Call now for:

    • Access to top treatment centers
    • Caring, supportive guidance
    • Financial assistance options
    (855) 400-5261

    Get help today

    Don't go through the process of recovery alone. Get in touch with someone who can help.

      bigstock--139831427
      hogarth-de-la-plante-17754

      Get 24/7 help now. All calls free and confidential.

      (855) 400-5261

      Take control of your life

      Our treatment specialists offer 24/7 assistance.

      • Access to top treatment centers
      • Caring, supportive guidance
      • Financial assistance options

      Call now:

      (855) 400-5261

      OR

      Have us call you:

        Where do calls go?

        Callers will be routed to:

        • Delphi Behavioral Health Group

        A treatment facility paid to have their center promoted here. To learn more about how to be featured in a paid listing, click here.