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LGBTQ alcohol abuse rates are known to be higher than the general population. Though few studies can accurately define just how high rates are, it is known that the population rates are high. The cause of higher addiction rates vary between and among the community. LGBTQ culture is partially to blame it is commonly believed. Drugs and alcohol are a common way to meet others in the community. It allows people to open up to exploring sexuality with drug induced courage or simply to relax and be more comfortable. This is far from ideal as far as meeting a significant other, but it is a reality. Read on to learn how much of a reality drugs and alcohol have become in the LGBTQ community.
Though the statistics are not totally accurate it is believes that gay and trans gendered people smoke tobacco up to 200 percent more than hetero or non-trans peers. In fact, some studies show that tobacco companies target this audience specifically. While between five and ten percent of the general population abuse alcohol, up to 25 percent of gay and trans gendered people drink in excess. Tobacco and alcohol are not illegal. Those who smoke or drink in excess cannot go a length of time without using these substances has an addiction problem. Tobacco may be easier to address and not necessarily require inpatient treatment. Alcoholics may have a much harder time not drinking. A heavy alcoholic may need inpatient treatment as simply not drinking after drinking long term can damage your health.
Gay men have been used for most studies on using illegal drugs. Gay or bisexual men are three to four times more likely to abuse marijuana. Over 12 times more likely to abuse amphetamines, and almost ten times more likely to use heroin. These are scary statistics.
There are three main reasons for this increased alcohol use. The first and most prominent is the higher level of stress associated with being LGBTQ. Social prejudice and laws that discriminate against LGBTQ individuals make daily life issues like employment, health care, and often relationships more difficult. A lack of cultural competency also affects alcohol use. Once an LGBTQ individual does decide to get help for an alcohol addiction there are many recovery centers that are not equipped to handle the needs of those who are LGBTQ. Services may be inappropriate or irrelevant to the actual issues. Finally, as mentioned before, alcohol and tobacco companies exploit the connection between gay and trans culture and bars. Bars are considered safe places to meet and socialize for this part of the culture.
All of this simply means there is a need to find an appropriate recovery for LGBTQ individuals. There are recovery centers available that specialize in LGBTQ Alcohol Abuse issues. Some are for men, some for women, and some for all dealing with sexuality related issues and addictions.