Many people turn to addiction and substance abuse as a way to cope with very real problems and challenges within their lives. The LGBTQ community, in particular, faces a higher risk of addiction and substance abuse. Here’s why.
LGBTQ Members Face Stress, Depression, and Anxiety
Due to the discrimination that LGBTQ members can face, they can easily find themselves stressed and anxious. It’s easy to self-medicate these problems away through substance abuse and addiction. Even LGBTQ individuals who aren’t being directly discriminated against may feel fearful or as though they are different, and may seek to alleviate these painful feelings.
This has a compounding effect. Because many LGBTQ individuals find themselves with substance abuse problems, this also means that the LGBTQ community can be perceived as having a shared substance abuse problem. This leads to many individuals being repeatedly confronted with substance abuse within their own community, even if they are trying to become sober. And it also means an individual may feel alienated if they try to become sober.
LGBTQ Members Often Have Nowhere to Go for Treatment
It can be more difficult for LGBTQ members to find treatment options. Some treatment options may only be available to them if they renounce being LGBTQ. Religious chapters form the basis for many types of substance abuse treatment, and not all religious chapters are accepting of LGBTQ members (though this has changed somewhat in recent years).
Since some LGBTQ members are also estranged from their family, they may not have a valid support structure, and consequently may find it even harder to afford or look for treatment options.
LGBTQ Members Are Often Wary of Medical Treatment
There is a long history of medical treatment being weaponized against LGBTQ members; being LGBTQ has been listed as a mental disorder in the past, though it is no longer considered such.
Consequently, LGBTQ members may be fearful of going in for medical treatment (such as detox facilities) because they may need to disclose that they are LGBTQ. They may fear discriminatory treatment for their identity and orientation and may consequently decline help even if it’s available. One place that’s open to anyone is the Van Ness Recovery House https://vannessrecoveryhouse.com
If you’re an LGBTQ individual currently facing substance abuse and addiction problems, it’s not too late to start getting sober. Check out My 12 Step Store for more information.