Rates of mental health disorders and substance abuse disorders among people who self-identify as homosexual, bisexual, transgender, or otherwise a part of the LGBTQ+ community are higher than other groups of people. As aspects of mental health or addiction treatment should cater to what works best for individuals, a member of the LGBTQ+ community may not find the same treatments or recovery centers effective as heterosexual or cis-gendered individuals may.
The rates of drug use and addiction are higher in almost every category within the LGBTQ+ community compared to the overall population. Studies have shown that the quality of substance abuse within the LGBTPQ+ community is somewhere between 20% and 30%. Within the rest of the population, that number is 9%, which is a dramatic difference.
Rates of substance abuse among LGBTQ+ adolescents are twice as high as the total youth population. One out of every three LGBTQ+ adults reported using marijuana within the last year, compared to just 16% of the rest of the population. Heroin and opioid use are also far higher among LGBTQ+ adults, with 9% reporting use compared to 3.8% of the rest of the population.
One of the few areas that there isn’t a dramatic difference is LGBTQ+ adults with an alcohol dependency or addiction, although rates are still higher. While 12.4% of LGBTQ+ adults between the ages of 18 and 25 report having an addiction to alcohol, the rest of the population reports a comparable 10.1%.
Not enough funding is given to LGBTQ+ issues, so it is hard to say for certain the causes of these high addiction rates or even thoroughly verify them. Still, it is a significant problem facing many within the LGBTQ+ community.
Similarly to addiction rates, the rates of mental health disorders among LGBTQ+ individuals are far higher than the rest of the population, despite just 4.5% of the population identifying as LGBTQ+, over 39% of those who suffer from severe mental health disorders.
Young children and adolescents who identify as LGBTQ+ are at exceptionally high risk of developing mental illness. Young LGBTQ+ individuals are twice as likely to experience depression symptoms and four times more likely to attempt suicide than their peers.
Bisexual and transgender individuals run an incredibly high risk within the community to attempt suicide. At some point in their lives, 40% of transgender adults have attempted suicide. The number for the rest of the population in the United States is less than 5%.
Outside of depression and suicidal thoughts, homosexual and transgender individuals are far more likely to develop anxiety disorders, substance use disorders, and self-esteem problems.
An essential part of achieving and maintaining long-term sobriety is finding the best recovery program for the individual’s specific needs. While that may include the substance a person is addicted to and their personality, it also has how they identify themselves. It is always important to remember that you are not alone when entering recovery. However, if someone who identifies as LGBTQ+ is in a recovery facility with no one else like them, they may still feel misunderstood.
Homosexual, bisexual, and transgender individuals may feel less comfortable opening up about their real thoughts or feelings if they think that no one will understand. Specific addiction treatment and recovery centers specialize in catering to the needs of LGBTQ+ individuals. This way, they know they are receiving help from professionals who truly understand and recognize the problems they are experiencing.
Anyone seeking recovery should feel safe and comfortable in the program they chose. Unfortunately, few recovery centers specialize in treating LGBTQ+ individuals. If that is what a person needs to feel safe and understood when entering a recovery program, it is crucial to find exactly what you require, even if few options currently exist.
In the same ways in which a person entering a recovery program needs to feel safe, someone seeking treatment for a mental health disorder should feel understood and supported. While the full causes of why mental illness rates among the LGBTQ+ community are so high are not entirely understood, many reasons can be found.
Being raised in a society where either you or people like you are discriminated against can be traumatic. This is especially true for individuals who grow up in a household where they are rejected or not entirely accepted in the way they want to be. This trauma can be a root cause of mental health disorders like anxiety and depression and can lead to suicidal thoughts and behavior.
This level of trauma is not likely something many outside of the LGBTQ+ community can fully understand. That is why it is essential to seek help from those who understand precisely what you may be feeling. Group therapy with others who share your experiences can be immensely beneficial in dealing with mental illnesses and breaking through to realize that your trauma is not your fault and that you are not alone in this.
If you are seeking treatment for a mental health or substance abuse disorder with a focus on treating the LGBTQ+ community, we are here to help. Finding the perfect method of
treatment for the individual is our core purpose. The most likely way to achieve sobriety or combat mental health challenges is to find the best plan that works for you.
Mental illness and addiction can be utterly detrimental to someone’s life, and with rates of both so high among LGBTQ+ individuals, it cannot be taken lightly. If you or a loved one identify LGBTQ+ and are searching for treatment for a substance abuse disorder or mental health disorder, please call us at 818-383-1297 to learn more about your potential options.
Seeking help is a hard thing to do, seeking help that is specific to the LGBTQ+ community can be even more difficult. Don’t worry, AM Health Care offers LGBTQ+ & Trans Safe Programs, we are here to help, love, grow, and prosper as one. Our LGBTQ+ programs were specifically designed to nurture a safe place to heal. If you or a loved one are looking for help, contact us today and start healing with AM Health Care. Call today for more information on our LGBTQ+ treatment options at 818-383-1297