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Substance Abuse in the LBGTQ Community

Heterosexism may affect gay and bisexual men, lesbian, transgender, and queer individuals (LGBTQ) people by causing internalized homophobia, shame, and a negative self-concept. It is not surprising to find that many LGBTQ individuals in therapy report feeling isolated, fearful, depressed, anxious, and angry and have difficulty trusting others. LGBTQ individuals may resort to substance abuse to cope with negative feelings. It is argued that the stigma and resulting tension of being a member of a marginalized community (i.e., LGBTQ) cause some members to manage these additional stressors by using psychoactive substances.

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What God Says to the LGBT in Addiction Recovery

Despite advances in research and awareness, the LGBT community continues to suffer the social stigma of being different. This constant isolation, along with the fear of “coming out,” is contributing to the high prevalence of substance abuse among lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgenders.

 According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the LGBT sector is thrice more likely to abuse narcotics and alcohol, three times more prone to engage in risky sexual behaviors (thus opening them up to HIV infection), and eight times more vulnerable to suicide and self-harm. The percentages drop significantly when they are accepted by their families and social circle.

But the stigma is very real. The fear of coming out is rooted in the fact that a large number of them are rejected by their families. In fact, the CDC reported that 4 in 10 of homeless youths in the US are members of the LGBT community.

The 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health also said that the members of the LGBT community are twice as likely to use narcotics and opioids in the past year. About 3 in 10 of them have used marijuana during the same period, and 1 in 10 of them has abused prescription opioids. Meanwhile, LGBT members age from 18-64 has reported binge-drinking more than heterosexuals.

Adolescents are especially vulnerable because their hormones are going haywire and they are still finding their identities. In fact, 9 in 10 of lesbians, gays, and bisexuals are likely to experiment with substances compared to their hetero counterparts.

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Drug, Alcohol & Smoking Addiction Support Links

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Addiction & Sleep

Addiction Group - no affiliations to any rehab centers, we aren’t sponsored, and we display no advertisements on our website. 

AddictionResource.com - Drug and Alcohol Addiction in the LGBTQ Community

AdvancedRecoverySystems.com: Signs of Addiction: Drugs, Alcohol and Prescription Drugs

Alcohol Rehab Guide

Alcohol-Related Medical Conditions

American Addiction Centers

Can a DNA Test Predict Addiction? - KnowYour DNA.com

Dependency.net: Drug and Alcohol Treatment - Struggling With Addiction? You're Not Alone, We're Here To Help

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