Executive Director’s Message: PRIDE at L.A. CADA
Pride Month in June marks the 1969 Stonewall Uprising where patrons and allies of New York City’s Stonewall Inn stood up in opposition to police harassment and discrimination against people who were Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or otherwise gender non-conforming (LGBTQ+). It began a long process for needed change that is still evolving, including behavioral healthcare equity.
The Center for American Progress estimates that 20-30% of LGBTQ+ adults have substance use problems, as compared to 09% of the general population. Because addiction disproportionately affects the LGBTQ+ community, at Pride Month at L.A. CADA is a time to contemplate the barriers to recovery faced by one of our most vulnerable service groups.
The prevalence of addiction among LGBTQ+ people can best be understood within the framework of minority stress. From a young age, people who are LGBTQ+ live with daily discrimination, and marginalization based on their sexual and gender minority status. Consequently, they face greater risk for traumatic harassment and violence. Non gender-conforming people of color are targets of additional discrimination, racism, and cultural stigma. All of these factors increase the risk for drug and alcohol use disorders, as well as mental health issues.
Many sexual minority people use substances to self-medicate stress, anxiety, or depression. Substance use is also widely used to socialize and celebrate – especially at Pride parties and festivals. In fact, liquor companies love to co-opt PRIDE to sell their rainbow-labeled products. In general, our society tends to paint Pride as mostly about the party, and that’s just not the reality. June is a necessary time to celebrate who you are, the history of the LGBTQ+ community, and your role as a strong, healthy, and productive member.
L.A. CADA wishes you a happy, healthy PRIDE Month 2022! If you’re clean and sober, L.A. CADA urges you to think about ways to celebrate PRIDE without alcohol and drugs:
- Attend a meeting: peer support from LGBTQ+ people in recovery is the best way to start or finish any day.
- Participate in some Pride month events, but not those that may trigger you: Make a plan to maintain your boundaries. If you’re facing triggers, have an exit strategy – go somewhere that you feel safer.
- Host a Sober Pride event: For example, introduce your signature “mocktail” at a sober party or have a competition to judge the best recipe.
- Join an LGBTQ+ Recovery Community: Check out: Queers Without Beers
See how some people Celebrate Sober PRIDE