The GLBT Community and Their Need for Substance Abuse Treatment

The GLBT Community and Their Need for Substance Abuse Treatment
People who are gay lesbian bisexual and transgender (GLBT) represent a substantial minority of the U.S. population yet pervasive prejudice and stigma often inhibit the development and provision of appropriate drug rehab and dual diagnosis services for them. This article provides basic information regarding common drug rehab and dual diagnosis concerns of GLBT persons to aid in the development of culturally competent mental health services.
Gay Lesbian Substance Abuse Issues
Research findings vary on rates of alcohol abuse alcoholism drug addiction and drug abuse among lesbians and gay men but experts maintain that drug and alcohol abuse are significant health and mental health concerns for sexual minorities. One study found that lesbians and gay men were twice as likely to be moderate drinkers but about equally as likely to be heavy drinkers as heterosexuals. Experts note the likelihood of a link between internalized homophobia low self-esteem ongoing discrimination and alcohol abuse and drug abuse. GLBT who seek addiction treatment for substance abuse problems may encounter barriers to addiction treatment in unsupportive service settings. This is the reason for the need of gay friendly drug rehab programs and gay friendly alcohol rehab programs.
Gay Lesbian Youth
Addiction treatment providers must be aware of the special needs of GLBT youth who face complex developmental tasks in an atmosphere that often includes isolation hostility prejudice and potential danger. They may be the targets of harassment from both peers and adults. As a result GLBT youth are more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers more likely to be victims of violence and are more likely to be victims of substance abuse drug addiction alcoholism or dual diagnosis.
If you require help locating a gay friendly drug rehab or a gay friendly alcohol rehab you can call the national addiction treatment helpline at 1-800-511-9225 or go to


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