Gays and Lesbians Have to Fight Harder to get Clean

Often, the community of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people struggle with addiction. Recently, more are recognizing a link between their fight for personal acceptance and their fight to get clean. It can be difficult to find a sober house where gays can feel comfortable staying and be supported in making a long-term commitment to sobriety. One such group is called GLAST -- Gays and Lesbians Achieving Sobriety Together. It was founded on May 5, 2017, by longtime friends Martin Warne and Stephanie Schraer. 

A 2012 study by the Center for American Progress found LGBTQ Americans like Gay statistically experience higher rates of substance abuse than their straight counterparts and encounter greater obstacles to effective, non-judgmental treatment. The National Institute on Drug Abuse agreed in 2015, adding: "LGBT persons also have a greater likelihood than non-LGBT persons of experiencing a substance use disorder (SUD) in their lifetime, and they often enter treatment with more severe SUDs." 

Gay and bisexual men, in particular, are nearly 10 times more likely than straight men to use heroin and 12 times more likely to use amphetamines such as crystal meth, the Center for American Progress's study says. GLAST, the Center and NIDA attribute much of this to "minority stress" -- the aggregation of daily stigmas and social slights that contributes to members of a minority feeling unwelcome in the societal mainstream. If the appeal of hard drugs lies in their offer of escape from negative emotions, people who live with the day-to-day hardships of discrimination, estrangement from family and homelessness are among the most vulnerable to their poison promise. 

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, just 7.5 percent of drug rehabilitation facilities offer any specialized services for LGBTQ patients. Even when LGBTQ people seek addiction recovery resources, they can be crowded out or scared away by programs that are accepting of recovering drug users but not accepting of same-sex desire. GLAST formally became a registered nonprofit in September. The organization will host its first fundraiser, a drag show with free barbecue titled Queens for Recovery, Dec. 3. Proceeds from the event will contribute directly to helping place LGBTQ drug users in treatment programs. 

  • 4 Commentsby Likes|Date
  • I wouldn't totally agree with that. Addiction is addiction.... yes, it affects many LGBT people, because of other deeper issues of non acceptance, having to live in fear, hide our feelings, but getting sober is getting sober... whether gay, straight, yellow or purple, left handed, or someone that eats..... prawns.
    the idea of taboo and social exclusion only becomes an issue if we make it one. I went back to college... I'll openly state, if asked, that I've got a wife, if it comes up in conversation, and then the conversation usually carries on naturally... to something like what she does for a living, or where we live, or how long we've been together.... I know there are others in the group that are either too "in your face" about it, and yes... they get a lot of hassle from trying to reassert themselves constantly... they make life a battle for themselves, and so... it becomes one. they get cheeky comments thrown at them. I don't. I mix in. 

    It was the same in any job I've held, whether in a lower, or management position, acceptance has never been an issue for me, and the same goes for school. Yes, there are small minded folks that will not understand and belittle... but there's also the fact that paying attention to them or walking on by is a CHOICE. Choose to live. Choose to be yourself... choose to ignore, or perhaps educate, but never to stoop, or hate.
    I've only been really discriminated against ONCE in my life because of my sexuality. it was a restaurant, and I just got up and walked out. nobody is obliged to listen to abuse. 
  • Interesting post. The stats are there that show that the LGBTQ crowd struggle with higher incidence of emotional disorders and substance abuse... esp. gay males. it's primarily from a society that has stigmatized and judged the population for many decades.... sure, times are changing...and more people are accepting these days... but let's not assume that every person in the LGBTQ crowd are at complete acceptance of themselves as they are..... even if they have a loving family and friends.... many still struggle with acceptance of themselves as gay...or trans... or whatever.... and that emotional turmoil can make it easier to reach for an escape....or relieve the pain.

    @zozzie ; yes, it is more acceptable these days... i'm glad you are wonderful with your preference... i find that most are fine with it, but sometimes the shock value causes them to not know what to say... (you married? nah. single? nah, i have a gf) oh.... (and they don't know what to say, lol)  and i smile and keep it moving.

    now, 25 years ago, it was taboo... not sure your age...but older crowd may still struggle with identity and acceptance.

    at the same time, you're right. addiction is addiction.  emotional pain is emotional pain... 

    and we aim to help everyone get and stay sober and clean in a safe environment where unconditional love abounds. 
  • I'm pretty young... 35, so I rarely think of myself as "different", I tend to just blend in, and not make a deal when people ask, but I know people that either lie, or just flip out if they're asked about their significant other. I don't really see the hassle of it all, and to be honest, my goal is to make anyone that is ignorant of the subject as at ease as possible so that they'll see that, no matter what they think, we're just "people"...... in the hopes that they will see that we also need to eat, do the dishes, sleep, pay the bills, fall in love, lose loved ones, and all other life functions.
  • @zozzie i agree... people may not understand what they are not familiar with, and sometimes that freaks them out. we can simply be ourselves....which is so much more than preference :)
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