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Drug and Alcohol Abuse in the LGBT Community

Whether you are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, heterosexual, or a religious individual, substance abuse and addiction affects everyone.

Whether you are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, heterosexual, or a religious individual, substance abuse and addiction affects everyone. Studies show that gay men are more likely to use cocaine, sedatives, marijuana, stimulants, ecstasy, GHB and ketamine, than heterosexual men. In recent years, the use of meth has seen a sharp rise among gay men.

LGBT Issues and Substance Abuse

The LGBT community experiences certain social stressors that have been shown as a direct link to drug and alcohol abuse. Many LGBT individuals struggle with the repercussions of discrimination, sexual health, trauma, and many other factors that play a significant role in their mental wellness. It is important that a addiction treatment program addresses the psychological and societal issues that have an impact the LGBT person in order to help them to avoid future substance abuse.

Some of the issues that should be addressed in LGBT addiction treatment are:

• Guilt and secrecy
• Social prejudice
• Isolation
• Discrimination
• Rejection from family and friends
• Self destructive behavior

It is important that an addiction treatment facility understand the problems that LGBT face to be able to help them stop their drug and alcohol abuse.

Substance Abuse Help for LGBT

There are a limited number of programs that offer services for the LGBT community and their families, but in recent years more are beginning to become available. There are some abuse center, offer meditation and yoga. Others offer addiction treatment counseling for individual, couple, family and group, as well as mental health treatment. A few 12 step programs are beginning to emerge that deal with specific LGBT issues.

Cognitive behavioral education is another type of drug and alcohol abuse program for LGBT persons. Cognitive behavioral education teaches self assessment and self change through re-evaluating individual decisions and choices and making productive choices as well as positive habits and behaviors. This will helps LGBT individuals identify issues that lead to their substance abuse and to use healthy choices, habits and behaviors to avoid drug and alcohol abuse.

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