Members of the LGBTQ+ community often face social injustices and discrimination, leading to health inequalities, including a higher susceptibility to mental health issues and substance use disorders. As a result, the opportunities for recovery places this group at a disadvantage when it comes to receiving the life-saving treatment they need. Mountainside offers a variety of resources to help spread awareness about these issues and provide a supportive network for LGBTQ+ individuals struggling with alcohol or drug addiction.
Statistics: the LGBTQ+ Community and Addiction
Research suggests that members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ+) community are at higher risk for mental illness and substance abuse, but are less likely to reach out and receive assistance. In an effort to educate the community about addiction in the LGBTQ+ community, below are facts to help reduce stigmatization and increase awareness of this issue.
As many as of30%of gay, non-binary, and transgender people abuse substances, compared to about 9% of the general population.
25% of gay and transgender people abuse alcohol, compared to 5%-10% of the general population.
Young adults who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or queer have 1.3 times the odds of heavy alcohol use, 1.6 times the odds of marijuana use, 2.9 times the odds of injection drug use, and 3.3 times the odds of cocaine use.
Men who have sex with men are 3.5 times more likely to use marijuana, 12.2 times more likely to use amphetamines, and 9.5 times more likely to use heroin than men who do not.
Common Factors Leading to Addiction in the LGBTQ+ Community
Addiction can be caused by a multitude of factors, yet the risk of substance abuse is higher within the LGBTQ+ community. Societal discrimination and prejudice produce. social, economic, and health disparities between individuals in the LGBTQ+ community and their heterosexual cisgender counterparts. The challenges that this community faces have contributed to a higher risk of risky behavior and substance use disorders. Below details some of the common factors putting this population at an increased risk of addiction:
Stress from Discrimination and Social Stigma
The negative effects associated with the adverse social conditions experienced by individuals of a marginalized social group—is something that gay and transgender people will inevitably face. This stress is triggered by general social prejudice against being gay or transgender, as well as discriminatory laws and policies.
When compared to heterosexual and cisgender individuals, those in the LGBTQ+ community have higher occurrence of stressful childhoods, school victimization, and hate crimes. Each of these stressors has been linked to an increase risk of substance and alcohol addiction
Co-Occurring Conditions/ Mental Disorders
1 in 3 LGBTQ+ adults experience mental illness.
This rate is 1.5-2.5 times higher than their heterosexual or cisgender counterparts. Dealing with these medical issues can interfere with one’s ability or inclination to seek addiction treatment.
Sexual minorities with substance use disorders are more likely to live with co-occurring psychiatric disorders
The prevalence and normalization of drug use in party culture increases the addiction risk for LGBTQ+ individuals. In a society where they are not always accepted, bars and nightclubs are considered safe havens for members of the LGBTQ+ community. As a result, the use of alcohol and drugs has become a widely accepted part of the social culture. For many individuals, the fear of distancing themselves from an environment where they feel comfortable makes getting sober increasingly challenging.
Many LGBTQ+ individuals turn to drugs and alcohol in an attempt to cope with their daily stressors and experience with discrimination. The effects of drugs and alcohol help to dull their pain and relax.
Overcoming an addiction and living an alcohol and drug-free life is a difficult journey requiring time and work. Managing substance abuse disorders is a lifestyle change and lifelong job. To help maintain a lifestyle free of drugs and alcohol, Mountainside offers a wide variety of programs and offerings that address all of your needs, whether it is creating a strong community, educating yourself, or building healthier habits.
One of the key components in addiction recovery is creating a strong sober network for yourself with people who are there to support you through your successes and challenges throughout the process. We offer a range of support groups, both in person and virtual, so you can build connections and get access to a caring group of people who can offer you the support and guidance you need. All of our substance abuse support groups foster a caring and safe environment, and are free and open to the public.
LGBTQ+ Recovery Support Group
Our LGBTQ+ Recovery Support Group provides a stigma-free and inclusive space for members of the LGBTQ+ community and offers insight and knowledge to navigate a healthier lifestyle, ranging from relationships to gender and sexual identity to professional advice.
Mountainside hosts a wide variety of engaging sober events, ranging from creative art classes, to community building groups. For those looking for new way of self-expression, creating healthier habits, or developing your own sober network, we have what you are looking for. Find a full list of our upcoming events here.
Loud and Proud
This Pride Month, get loud and proud of who you are! Whether you are a member of the LGBTQIA+ community or an ally, join us for an afternoon of music, connection, and fun! All ticket sales will be matched by Mountainside and donated to Live Out Loud, a non-profit providing LGBTQIA+ youth with role models, resources, and opportunities to help them discover their own voice and become leaders of change. We hope to see you there!
At Mountainside, we understand that the road to recovery is unique to each individual. We provide a wide variety of programs and offerings to aid in the recovery process for any individual struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. From the start of your journey to the end, Mountainside will be with you every step of the way.
Treatment Plans Tailored to Your Needs
When it comes to substance abuse, individuals who identify as LGBTQ+ are at a higher risk of developing a drug or alcohol addiction due to negative social stressors and prejudices that target this community. At Mountainside, we know that every client has a unique addiction experience, and we make sure that your treatment plan is tailored to you and your needs. We offer a range of treatment programs and resources that take special care with addressing issues of trauma, stigmatization, violence, and harassment so you can identify the root of your addiction and begin healing.
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