Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals face many issues and complications that the heterosexual population does not have to face. Could this be why addiction rates are so high in the LGBT community? Many LGBT individuals face social stigma and discrimination every time they leave their homes. Substance abuse in the LGBT community is much higher than in other communities. They have stressors such as the chance of harassment and violence daily in their lives.
Rejection and Substance Abuse in the LGBT Community
Many LGBT individuals are rejected professionally and personally. Once coming out as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender, these individuals have no idea how their families will accept them. Another issue is how will they be accepted in their workplace? For instance, what about a teacher who is lesbian or gay? How will the parents of the students in that class react? How will customers react to a transgender person helping them with their needs in a retail store? What if their family cannot accept them now that they know the truth about them?
All of these scenarios take place every day in the LGBT community. Could you deal with this in your life without turning to alcohol or drugs to help lessen the hurt feelings and rejection from other members of society? What if you couldn’t go out to dinner in a restaurant without dealing with stares and harassment? These actions are the cause of much of the substance abuse in the LGBT community today. These individuals do what they can to deal with their issues and lessen the pain of being “different” in the eyes of so many individuals.
Substance Abuse in the LGBT Community Higher than Heterosexuals
According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) individuals identifying as “sexual minority” were more than twice as likely to have used illicit drugs as others. Two of the drugs which are misused in this community are marijuana and prescription painkillers. Binge drinking is also much higher in the LGBT community than among the heterosexual population. Adolescents who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual are more prone to use substances than their peers in school.
The biggest portion of the substance abuse in the LGBT community is due to self-medicating underlying issues. Co-occurring disorders is what the medical profession calls cases of individuals who have mental issues such as depression, PTSD, anxiety, panic attacks, or social anxiety, just to name a few, along with substance abuse problems. These cases can be hard to diagnose because one problem can mask the symptoms of the other disorder. If an individual does indeed have co-occurring disorders both problems must be treated concurrently.
Inpatient Treatment for Co-Occurring Disorders
Recovery is possible for everyone, even the LGBT community. Many individuals in this community have found comfort in frequenting bars and the club scenes. These establishments seem to be more accepting of them than some others. However, these environments have also contributed to the substance abuse in the LGBT community. Through a treatment program which has been designed for a patient’s individual needs and preferences, self-esteem and confidence can be learned which will help the individual maintain a sober and healthy lifestyle.
The first step to finding help is to find an inpatient addiction treatment center which offers treatment for co-occurring mental health issues and substance abuse. In an inpatient facility, you will receive supervised attention 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The substance use and the underlying mental health issues will be treated at the same time. One-on-one counseling is an asset to treating co-occurring disorders because you will have a therapist who will counsel you in the strictest of confidence. You can be fully open and honest about any issues you may be facing.
Contact Us for More Information
You will be treated the same as every patient in the inpatient addiction rehab facility. At our facility, every patient is treated with the utmost respect by a very compassionate and caring staff. To learn more about treatment for co-occurring disorders at Behavioral Rehabilitation Services, contact one of our informed representatives today. They can answer any questions you may have.