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Substance Use in the LGBTQ+ Community

LGBTQ substance abuse

Addiction impacts people from all walks of life — but the LGBTQ+ community is disproportionately affected by substance use disorder. An LGBTQ+ addiction treatment program can provide the specialized support and understanding necessary for recovery and long-term well-being.

Vertava Health makes LGBTQ addiction recovery possible. Contact us at 888.601.8693 to speak with a compassionate staff member about the LGBTQ+ addiction treatment programs available at Vertava Health.

The LGBTQ+ Community Faces Unique Challenges

A much higher percentage of LGBTQ+ individuals struggle with addiction than the general population. A wide range of social factors contributes to ​​LGBTQ substance abuse. Members of the LGBTQ community are more likely to face the following:

  • Verbal and emotional abuse
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Workplace and housing discrimination
  • Rejection by family and friends
  • Ridicule over sexual orientation or gender
  • Threats and hate crimes

Many members of the LGBTQ community find it more difficult to secure stable employment and housing. For some, achieving a sense of community and healthy family dynamics is harder. These many challenges can bring stress and hardship, seriously detracting from a person’s quality of life.

LGBTQ substance abuse often begins when someone in the LGBTQ+ community uses substances to cope with these many challenges. Substance use may occur on its own or as a means of self-medicating for co-occurring mental health disorders.

LGBTQ Addiction and Mental Health

Mental health is a major contributing factor to the development of substance use disorders. Factors like those listed above take a serious toll on mental health. This is often compounded by relationship discrimination, denial of basic human rights, and social pressure to hide central aspects of one’s identity.

The LGBTQ+ community faces challenges that often aren’t understood or recognized by those around them. These frequently contribute to mental health concerns, such as:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Self-harm
  • Suicidal thoughts or attempts

Many people begin using substances to seek relief from overwhelming or unmanageable thoughts and emotions. Regular substance use can quickly develop into a substance use disorder. When this happens, ​​LGBTQ addiction recovery depends on effective behavioral health intervention.

Why an LGBTQ Addiction Program Is Necessary

Addiction impacts each person differently. A person developing a substance use disorder depends on genetic, social, and environmental factors. Addiction is often compounded by unresolved trauma, mental health, and family dynamics.

Effective addiction treatment requires individualized care that gets to the heart of the reasons behind a patient’s substance use. This means that providing effective addiction treatment to members of the LGBTQ community requires a treatment program that directly addresses the many factors that lead to LGBTQ addiction.

What to Look for in an LGBTQ Treatment Program

You should find a facility that offers LGBTQ addiction treatment programming when considering treatment options. These treatment centers should incorporate elements like the following:

  • Therapists trained to work with LGBTQ patients
  • Family therapists equipped to address LGBTQ family dynamics
  • Group sessions that address LGBTQ concerns
  • Peer support groups for LGBTQ patients
  • Housing options that respect gender identity

Not every addiction treatment center is prepared to accommodate the unique needs of members of the LGBTQ community.

There’s a much greater chance of building a strong foundation for LGBTQ recovery when a program is equipped to identify and address concerns that may contribute to a patient’s substance use disorder.

Find Inclusive Treatment at Vertava Health

Vertava Health proudly offers inclusive services and culturally competent staff members. We understand that members of the LGBTQ community are often underserved regarding quality addiction treatment programming, and we seek to close this gap with our inclusive approach to addiction treatment.

Learn more about our LGBTQ treatment programs by calling Vertava Health at 888.601.8693 today.