Content medically reviewed by Vicky Magobet, PMHNP-BC, on May 12, 2020.
Now more than ever, the LGBTQIA communities have found their voice and are radically impacting the world for change. However, for a young person struggling with sexual identity, the fear of not fitting into a society that has historically rejected them has led many to turn to drugs and alcohol for relief.
Understanding the unique factors impacting the LGBTQIA communities is the first step to getting these individuals the help they need. If you or someone you know is gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex or asexual, there is hope and healing from a life of drug or alcohol abuse.
While millions of Americans struggle with drug and alcohol addiction, those who identify as gay or lesbian are twice as likely to have a severe alcohol abuse disorder, and bi-sexual individuals are three times more at risk of developing an addiction. Transgender young people are nearly two and half times more likely to seek out drugs like cocaine and methamphetamines. Those who are unsure of their sexual identity are five times more likely to have an addiction over those who are heterosexual.
These alarming and heartbreaking statistics tell a story. Drugs and alcohol have been used to escape and mask feelings of rejection and fear. To provide treatment, an addiction rehab center must understand the unique needs of this population.
While each person who goes to rehab has their own story, there are some common internal and external factors LGBTQIA individuals share that likely influence why they seek out drugs or alcohol:
For an addiction treatment program to be effective to a person who identifies as LGBTQIA, there must be an intentionality that is sadly lacking among most rehab centers. Despite the overwhelming need for treatment, there are surprisingly few programs geared toward the unique needs of this population. The ideal support to help these individuals break free from the grips of addiction should focus on three things:
If you or someone you love is a member of the LGBTQIA communities and struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction, we are here for you. At Diamond House Detox in northern California, we understand the unique factors impacting sexual minorities, and we offer a safe haven where you can find the professional treatment you need to break free. Our programs are highly individualized, and you will find a caring, professional staff who will walk beside you every step of the way.
If our country wants to see this stronghold of addiction break among LGBTQIA individuals, effective treatment is the first step. Contact us today to learn more.