It’s an open secret that members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning community have a higher risk of addiction. Why is substance abuse in the LGBTQ community at levels that exceed those of the rest of the population? Is there a gay addiction treatment program in response to the increased need for care? If you are struggling with drug use right now, what should you do?
How Serious Is Substance Abuse in the LGBTQ Community?
Government statistics suggest that belonging to a sexual minority doubles your risk of substance abuse. In fact, 17.1% of heterosexual adults report using an illicit substance in the last year, while 39.1% of LGBTQ community members do. Marijuana is a common drug of choice. Opioid abuse is common, too.
Drug abuse often starts in adolescence. LGBTQ teens across the board face a higher risk than heterosexual adolescents. In fact, their risk factor is 90% higher. In short, being an LGBTQ person could be a contributing factor to chemical dependency.
Why Is the Substance Abuse Risk Higher?
Why is substance abuse in the LGBTQ community so high? Experts believe that social stigma and discrimination create stressors, which individuals don’t know how to handle. These stressors may contribute to incidents of depression or anxiety, which are mental health conditions. As such, they become co-occurring conditions that also contribute to chemical dependency development.
In some cases, people within the community become victims of violence. This may result in incidences of PTSD, which is another risk factor for drug use. Because they might not seek help, it’s likely that these victims self-medicate. When you combine these risk factors, it makes sense that the risk for chemical dependency is high.
Do Treatment Center Options Keep up with the Need for Care?
Finding a gay and lesbian treatment center in Florida isn’t as easy as it should be. Most don’t have LGBTQ-centric supports in place. Many still have a don’t-ask-don’t-tell attitude. Checking into one of these facilities is better than nothing; however, it’s not optimal.
A better option is a rehab facility that offers dedicated addiction treatment programs for LGBTQ individuals. Possible modalities include:
- LGBTQ support groups that focus on community-specific issues and challenges
- Group therapy sessions that underscore support for LGBTQ program participants
- Trauma treatment that focuses on overcoming violence and similar experiences
- Talk therapy for developing coping skills as a member of the sexual minority
- Life skills training as a way to deal with the easy availability of drugs in gay-centric settings
Reach Out for Help
While finding this type of treatment center is a little more difficult, it isn’t impossible. Most importantly, it’s vital for healing from drug abuse. When you’re ready to stop using, don’t hope for the best and select the first facility that you run across. Spend a little extra time looking for a gay treatment center Florida trusts.
You don’t have to be part of the statistics any longer. Overcome substance abuse in the LGBTQ community by seeking treatment today.