This June, L.A. CADA is celebrating Pride Month and recovery. As we know, the Stonewall riots in New York were a tipping point for the gay liberation movement. Initially commemorated on the last Sunday of June as “Gay Pride Day,” we now have an entire month to celebrate LGBTQ+ culture.
The LGBTQ+ community has overcome certain challenges and become more accepted. Yet, we still have much to address, including the increased risk of substance use disorders. People who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning have double the risk for developing a substance use disorder. This is a result of many different challenges, including:
- Discrimination: LGBTQ+ people often experience discrimination in every aspect of life. Whether discrimination presents itself as part of systems or comes from specific people, it can lead to unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as alcohol and drug use.
- Trauma: There is a strong connection between traumatic events and substance use, and the LGBTQ+ community is exposed to traumatic situations through bullying, harassment, violence, and rejection. .
- Stress: Because LGBTQ+ people can be in a constant state of stress, anxiety can lead to self-medication. And addiction.
- Target marketing: People who identify as gay or transgender may have a strong connection to specific bars where they feel accepted. Legal substances, including tobacco and alcohol, are frequently marketed to the LGBT community and the places they go..
- Prejudice: Although there is more acceptance of the community than before, people who identify as LGBTQ+ still face strong stigma.
- Service Needs. Having a stable job and housing are key to being economically and financially sufficient. When LGBTQ+ individuals experience discrimination, it is significantly more difficult to find a job or place to live. The need for LGBTQ+ specific substance use and mental health treatment is another hard-to-find service need.
- CADA is an LGBTQ+ Affirming agency. If you know someone who wants support, call us at (562) 906-2676.
Check out: Recovery for the LGBTQ+ Community