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Addiction In the LGBTQ+ Community: What to Know

members of the lgbtq community struggle with the negative consequences of their addictions

Addiction is a treatable medical condition that people from any walk of life can experience. People who are able to access the right kind of help for addiction can, with support and care, recover and live happy, healthy lives. Substance use in the LGBTQ+ community is similar, but people who identify as members of that community can have unique and special circumstances that need to be addressed. LGBTQ+ addiction recovery programs can bridge the gap between general care for substance use disorders and helping people who are experiencing drug use in the LGBTQ+ community get the treatment they need. Contact us today at 888.408.1625 for information about our LGBTQ+ addiction recovery programs.

How Is the LGBTQ+ Community Different?

In some ways, people in the LGBTQ+ community are no different than others. We all have similar requirements in life, and we all have feelings. However, people who identify as members of the LGBTQ+ community may face challenges that others don’t face, such as social stigma, discrimination, or family conflicts related to their identity or orientation. These challenges often play a role in other aspects of life, including health risks and treatment needs.

Facts About Substance Use and Addiction in the LGBTQ+ Community

There are some ways in which people who identify as members of the LGBTQ+ community may differ from their cisgender or heterosexual counterparts when it comes to substance use and addiction. Some things to know about substance use in the LGBTQ+ community are:

  • Data suggests that LGBTQ+ people may use substances and drink alcohol more than those who are not LGBTQ+ identified.
  • LGBTQ+ people tend to seek treatment with more severe symptoms of substance use disorder than their non-LGBTQ+ counterparts.
  • People who identify as LGBTQ+ are more likely to present with a co-occurring condition, meaning that they are diagnosed with another mental health condition in addition to substance use disorder.
  • Transgender people are more likely than other LGBTQ+ people to seek treatment for substance use or addiction. (That’s a good thing!)
  • LGBTQ+ people have the best treatment outcomes for substance use disorder when they can access programs designed specifically for them.

Help is available. Identity-affirming care and support from professionals who understand the unique and nuanced issues of the LGBTQ+ community at a treatment facility specializing in LGBTQ+ care can be extremely beneficial to recovery for members of our community.

How Can I Find an LGBTQ+ Addiction Treatment Program?

The good news is more places than ever are accepting and welcoming to people of all identities and orientations. The less-good news is that treatment programs specific to the LGBTQ+ community are still relatively uncommon. Many treatment facilities will say that they are welcoming to the LGBTQ+ community, but that is not quite the same as having a program designed specifically for LGBTQ+ clients. It is important to ask specific questions about how a program is meant to work better for clients who identify as LGBTQ+ and what cultural competency training staff members receive. Even though they are less common, there are treatment programs that are designed to meet the needs of the LGBTQ+ community so that clients can relax and be their truest, best selves while focusing on their recovery.

Pride Institute: Serving the Recovery Care Needs of the LGBTQ+ Community Since 1986

Founded during the dark days of the HIV/AIDS crisis, Pride Institute staff recognized a need for recovery care that was designed to care for people in the LGBTQ+ community. Today, we are still committed to caring for our community as they heal from substance use and addiction. Our treatment facilities in Minneapolis and Eden Prairie, Minnesota provide a range of programming designed specifically for LGBTQ+ clients so that they can feel comfortable, embraced, and respected as they begin their recovery journey. We are honored to be a part of this healing process and hope that if you or a loved one has been battling addiction, you will reach out to us today at 888.408.1625. You can also fill out our confidential online form and allow us to get back to you.