La Fuente Hollywood Treatment Center prides itself on its commitment to LGBTQ individuals and remains 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 844.956.3514.
The Center for Substance Abuse Treatments, a Provider’s Introduction to Substance Abuse Treatment for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Individuals (2003) reports that 20 to 25 percent of LGBTQ individuals are more likely to use and abuse drugs and alcohol that lead to the development of problems with addiction when compared to the 3-10 percent of the heterosexual populace.
“As a minority group, gays, lesbians, and bisexuals are victims of systematic and ongoing oppression,” says Soulforce, a political organization that advocates against the oppression of LGBTQ people by religious institutions. “It can lead to feelings of alienation, low self-esteem, self-destructive behaviors, and substance abuse.”
According to The Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) report, “Healthcare Equality Index, 2011,” LGBTQ people often decline to seek healthcare in times of need, out of fear of discrimination and poor treatment by healthcare professionals.
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.
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.
The QIA in LGBTQIA
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.
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.