Substance Abuse Risks for the LGBTQ+ Community

The 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reports that 18.7 million people age 18 or older had a substance use disorder in the United States. The same report found that about 3 in every 8 people struggle with a reliance on “illicit drugs,” about 3 in 4 live with alcohol use, while 1 in every 9 people deal with addictions to both drugs and alcohol.

https://www.healthline.com/health/why-is-substance-abuse-worse-in-lgbtq-community

“The trauma associated with the social stigma of being LGBTQ, of living in a culture that, for the most part, is homophobic and heterosexist, is traumatic. From the experiences of being bullied and being rejected by friends and family, those traumas unfortunately still are true in 2019. In many parts of the country, the safe spaces for queer people to go are bars, so social isolation certainly is one of the factors behind substance use disorders for LGBTQ people.”

Craig Sloane, LCSW, CASAC, CSAT (https://www.healthline.com/health/why-is-substance-abuse-worse-in-lgbtq-community)

Substance abuse is a threat across the spectrum of U.S. demographics, and mental/emotional wellness issues know no boundaries. These are public health issues. However, there’s a statistically higher rate of mental illness, mental health struggles, and substance abuse in the LGBTQ+ community when compared to others. These struggles don’t take place in isolation. They occur in the context of stress created by isolation, discrimination, and a lack of support systems for LGBTQ+ individuals in society at large.

https://www.alternativetomeds.com/blog/lgbtq-substance-abuse-statistics-and-resources/

Sources:

LGBTQ+ People and Substance Abuse Statistics and Resources

Why the Risk of Substance Use Disorders Is Higher for LGBTQ People