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What Are the Effects of Addiction on LGBTQ Communities?

Research is done on observable problems. Interventions are designed based on research findings. Right now, research indicates the need for an expansion of treatment and prevention interventions specific to the LGBTQ community.

At Relevance Recovery, we use evidence-based therapies and unique alternative therapies designed to address substance use disorders and mental and behavioral health concerns. In addition, we tailor each treatment program to the specific needs of our clients to help them achieve their mental and behavioral health goals. 

If you are concerned that you or your loved one is struggling behaviorally due to drugs or other mental illnesses, contact a representative at Relevance Recovery today.

Addiction Statistics in LGBTQ Communities

The statistics describing the LGBTQ community are consistently higher than the general population. For example, 12.9% of LGBTQ adults suffer from both a substance use disorder and a mental illness as compared to a General population study which indicated that only 3.8% of adults struggle with both. In other words, one in five adults struggling with a substance use disorder and mental illness in 2019 identified as part of the LGBTQ community.

Furthermore, according to the 2018 national survey on drug use and health, more than one-third of LGBTQ adults reported marijuana use in the past year. This is more than 20% higher than the overall adult population reported. LGBTQ adults reported the past year’s opioid and alcohol use as higher than the general reporting population.

A study done on LGBTQ youth indicates that family violence after revealing sexuality impacts over one-third of LGBTQ youth. Additionally, more than 50% of young adults who identify as a sexual minority report bullying and harassment. Violence, bullying, and trauma are early risk factors for substance abuse. These statistics indicate a systemic issue in the LGBTQ community regarding acceptance, mental health, and substance abuse.

What Drugs are Commonly Abused in LGBTQ Communities?

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration NSDUH Data Review, individuals who identify as a sexual minority are twice as likely to use any illicit drug than those in the sexual majority. Percentage data shows that individuals in the LGBTQ community use marijuana, prescription pain relievers, prescription tranquilizers, cocaine, hallucinogens, prescription stimulants, inhalants, methamphetamines, prescription sedatives, and heroin at double or more than the rate of heterosexual individuals. 

These drugs fall into two significant categories drugs and pain relievers. The use of stimulants, poppers, and hallucinogens is common in the party scene because of their ability to lower inhibitions and increase excitement. Pain relievers like prescription opioids, prescription tranquilizers, sedatives, and heroin all have a numbing and pain-relieving quality.

How Addiction in LGBTQ Communities Influences Treatment and Prevention

Addiction treatment should be directly influenced by the clients it supports. For example, individuals in the LGBTQ community are more likely to develop a substance use disorder along with a significant mental illness, meaning that treatment is necessary for both conditions to be successful.

LGBTQ addiction treatment should address topics important to the community, including abandonment, acceptance, loneliness, bullying, trauma, personality disorders, rejection, and fear. 

Good addiction treatment addresses the individual as a whole and not just a disorder. That includes addressing topics important to the community and the clients it is serving.

Finding the Best LGBTQ Rehabs Near Me

However, finding addiction treatment that addresses all of these concerns can be difficult. Relevance Recovery is a comprehensive treatment facility that handles substance abuse and mental health. Our treatment programs utilize multiple pathways to recovery. We offer detoxification, inpatient treatment, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient treatment, and generalized outpatient treatment. We also offer extensive aftercare and family group opportunities for clients to continue being supported following treatment. 

The supportive and experienced staff at Relevance Recovery know the importance of addressing the individual. With specific LGBTQ and first responder programming at our New Jersey rehab center, our clients can receive treatment in a location that makes them feel comfortable and not vulnerable. 
Contact Relevance Recovery today and speak with the admissions team to verify your insurance and learn more about our New Jersey addiction treatment programs.

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