Substance abuse tends to be more common among members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning community, mainly because LGBTQ individuals experience higher rates of discrimination when compared to their heterosexual counterparts. Coming out as a member of the LGBTQ community also increases the risk for bullying, family rejection, ridicule and hate crimes, causing some people to turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with their pain. At Virtue at the Pointe, experienced addiction professionals understand the risk factors for LGBTQ substance abuse and have experience providing personalized treatment.
LGBTQ ADDICTION STATISTICS
Each year, RTI International and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration conduct the National Survey on Drug Use and Health to identify trends related to substance use. The survey asks participants to disclose whether they’re heterosexual or members of the LGBTQ community, allowing SAMHSA and RTI International to gather statistics about each group.
In 2018, the NSDUH revealed the following:
- Nearly 38% of LGBTQ persons reported marijuana use within the past year.
- Approximately 9% of LGBTQ people (18+) reported that they’d used opioids within the previous year.
- More than 12% of adult LGBTQ community members disclosed that they had an alcohol use disorder, representing no change from 2015.
More recently, SAMHSA reported that 6.8 million members of the LGBT community had a mental illness in 2019; 38.2% of those people had a serious mental illness. Additionally, 2.6 million LGBTQ individuals had a substance use disorder. Alcohol abuse was the most common SUD, affecting three out of five participants, while about 50% of participants reported struggling with a drug addiction. Slightly more than 16% had a substance use disorder involving both alcohol and illicit drugs.