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Healing, Strengthening, and Advancing the Lives of LGBTQ People Seeking Recovery

Two hands holding, both wearing LGBTQ braceletsLa Fuente Hollywood Treatment Center prides itself on its commitment to LGBTQ individuals. We remain at the forefront of addiction treatment advancements for the LGBTQ community. However, the community is not monolithic, and the terminology describing the community is ever-evolving to remain inclusive and representative.

Regardless of whether a person or publication speaks of “the gay community,” or the “LGBTQ community,” or the “LGBTQIA community,” it is essential to realize this represents a complex community of distinct individuals and substance use, abuse, and addiction affects everyone differently.

La Fuente Hollywood has experience in the study and treatment of addiction in the LGBTQ population, so if you or a loved one need help, reach out today at 888.903.9898. Our LGBTQ addiction treatment center in Hollywood, California is happy to talk about LGBTQ terminology. Please read on to see our LGBTQ terminology glossary.



LGBTQ individuals are more likely to use and abuse drugs and alcohol than compared to the cis and heterosexual populace.

LGBTQ individuals are more likely to use and abuse drugs and alcohol than compared to the cis and heterosexual populace. They are more prone to developing addictions and tend to use substances as a way of coping with anxiety, depression, and stress.

The LGBTQ community has had to face years of discrimination, and many members of the community struggle with mental health issues due to this prejudice. Addiction is often used by LGBTQ individuals as a way to cope with these struggles.

Lesbian Women

A study published by SAMHSA in 2011 found that lesbians are significantly more likely than heterosexual women to drink alcohol heavily. Another study published in 2004 from the Journal of Gay & Lesbian Social Services noted that substance abuse among lesbians is far higher than their heterosexual peers.

Jerry Carino of the Detroit Free Press, in his June 19, 2015 article “Study Asks Why Lesbians Are Drinking So Much,” quotes Carolyn Bradley, a clinical social worker and associate professor of social work at Monmouth University, with 30 years experience in addiction recovery services:

“I have worked with women who were dealing with coming to terms with being a lesbian,” she wrote in an email. “Many of these women had been married and some had children. As these women explored the lesbian community, for some, their consumption of alcohol increased.

“An additional explanation may be found in the social culture of the lesbian community, which still is centered heavily in the gay bars despite the growth of LGBT community centers offering alternative, nonalcohol centered social experiences.”

Bradley’s experience has shown that for lesbian and bisexual women, the alcohol problem may be temporary — and triggered by the stress of the coming out process.

“For a certain percentage, due to other factors such as a … family history of alcoholism, the problem may be long term in nature,” Bradley said.

Gay Men

The CDC reports that alcohol and drug use among some men who have sex with men (MSM) can be a reaction to homophobia, discrimination, or violence they experienced due to their sexual orientation and can contribute to other mental health problems.

Substance abuse is associated with a wide range of mental health and physical problems. It can disrupt relationships, employment and threaten financial stability.

Alcohol and illegal drug use in some gay and bisexual men also contribute to increased risk for HIV infection and other STDs, especially methamphetamines, amyl nitrates (poppers), and drugs used to treat erectile dysfunction. Individuals under the influence of drugs or alcohol may increase their risk of HIV transmission by engaging in risky sexual behaviors or sharing needles or other injection equipment. La Fuente Hollywood Treatment Center is committed to helping men facing drug addiction by providing gay drug rehab in Los Angeles, CA.

Gay Men & Crystal Meth

The NIH reports that methamphetamine (also known as crystal meth) abuse is associated with a culture of risky sexual behavior, both among men who have sex with men and in heterosexual populations. This link may be attributed to the fact that methamphetamine and related stimulants can increase libido. (Although paradoxically, long-term methamphetamine abuse may be associated with decreased sexual functioning, at least in men.)

The combination of injection practices and sexual risk-taking may result in HIV becoming a greater problem among methamphetamine abusers than other drug abusers. Some epidemiologic reports are already showing this trend. For example, while the link between HIV infection and methamphetamine abuse has not yet been established for heterosexuals, data show an association between methamphetamine abuse and the spread of HIV among men who have sex with men.

Crystal meth forces the brain to release abnormally high levels of the feel-good chemical known as dopamine. Users experience increased energy, prolonged sexual performance, and suppressed appetite. La Fuente Hollywood is committed to providing methamphetamine treatment through our gay drug rehab program in Los Angeles, CA.

Bisexual Men and Women

A report on bisexual health by The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force found that out of the top ten health issues affecting the bisexual community, substance use and alcohol abuse are tops on the list.

Bisexual women report the highest rates of alcohol use, heavy drinking, and alcohol-related problems compared to heterosexual and lesbian women.

Other key health issues include high-risk sexual behavior in relation to the combination of substance abuse and alcohol use with sex. Depression, anxiety, and lack of social support makes bisexual individuals the lowest emotional well-being group of any sexual orientation group, which lead to higher levels of self-harm, suicidal thoughts, and suicide attempts than heterosexuals, gay men, and lesbians. La Fuente Hollywood Treatment Center provides lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and gay drug rehab in Los Angeles, CA.


La Fuente understands that the treatment of drugs and alcohol addictions in transgender men and women begins with understanding the humanity and journey of people whose gender identity, expression, or behavior is different from those typically associated with their assigned sex at birth. We support the inclusion of transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming individuals who struggle with addiction and recognize that addiction rates in these groups are much higher than in the general population. La Fuente provides transgender and gay drug rehab in Los Angeles, CA.



Anyone may choose to identify as queer. This can include but is not limited to gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and asexual people. Not all the people in the above subcategories identify as queer, and many people NOT in the above groups DO. This term has different meanings to different people. Some still find it offensive, while others reclaim it to encompass the broader sense of the history of the gay rights movement. It can also be used as an umbrella term like LGBTQ, as in “the queer community.” Some transgender people express concern that “queer” only applies to sexual orientation. Our treatment program provides lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex, asexual, and gay drug rehab in Los Angeles, CA.


Questioning refers to individuals who are exploring their sexual identity. Questioning means a person is figuring out their gender identity and how they want to identify their sexual orientation.


People who naturally (that is, without any medical intervention) develop primary or secondary sex characteristics that do not fit neatly into society’s definitions of male or female. Many visibly intersex people are mutilated in infancy and early childhood by doctors to make the individual’s sex characteristics conform to society’s idea of how normal bodies should appear. Intersex people are relatively common, although society’s denial of their existence has allowed very little room for intersex issues to be discussed publicly. Hermaphrodite is an outdated and inaccurate term that has been used to describe intersex people in the past. La Fuente provides intersex, asexual and gay drug rehab in Los Angeles, CA.


Asexual orientation is generally characterized by not feeling sexual attraction or a desire for partnered sexuality. Asexuality is distinct from celibacy, which is the deliberate abstention from sexual activity. Some asexual people do have sex. There are many diverse ways of being asexual. We provide intersex, asexual and gay drug rehab in Los Angeles, CA.


An ally is a person who confronts heterosexism, sexism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, and heterosexual privilege in themselves and others. This stance is born out of self-interest, and a concern for the well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual people and the belief that dismantling heterosexism, biphobia, transphobia, and genderism/cis-sexism is a social justice issue.

Reach Out Now to La Fuente Hollywood

We hope this LGBTQ terminology glossary has helped. If you or a loved one are a member of the LGBTQ community and struggling with addiction, call La Fuente today at 888.903.9898 or contact us online. Let us help you start your journey to recovery.