Members of the LGBTQ+ community face regular discrimination from the heteronormative and cisgender populations. The stigmatization of the community can lead to long-term mental health disorders and co-occurring substance use disorder (SUD).

What are the risks facing the LGBTQ+ community?

The 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that “sexual minorities,” or non-heteronormative and/or non-cisgender populations, were more likely to endure mental health disorders and SUD. The study found that sexual minority adults were more likely to have developed a SUD related to drugs, alcohol, or non-prescribed pain relievers. Any mental health disorders and severe mental health disorders were more present in sexual minority populations.

A 2013 survey from the US Census Bureau found that LGBTQ+ individuals with a diagnosed SUD engaged with alcohol earlier than the heteronormative society. Studies of the LGBTQ+ community are too few and too recent to definitively establish a trend. Still, further investigation of the relationship between sexual/gender identity and SUD will help researchers and mental health professionals develop effective treatment strategies.

What are the benefits of specialized treatment programs?

LGBTQ+ individuals may endure trauma that heteronormative individuals will never face. Discrimination based on sexual or gender identity can prevent LGBTQ+ individuals from academic, professional, and social benefits that the sexual majority enjoy. Though workplace discrimination based on identity is unlawful, bigoted employers continue to mistreat sexual minority employees.

Relationships with family and friends may be strained, broken, or unhealthy for members of the LGBTQ+ community. Trauma related to sexual or gender identity should be addressed by mental health professionals who are familiar with the non-heteronormative, cis-gendered experience. Individualized care is necessary for a successful recovery.

If you are ready to start your journey to recovery, call Alta Loma Transformational Services today. We offer specialized care that responds to individuals’ unique experiences within the LGBTQ+ community and beyond. You know your needs better than anybody else, and our team of mental health and addiction recovery experts will work with you to develop a unique treatment plan that works for you. At Alta Loma, we want to equip you with the tools you need to enjoy a lifetime of mental, emotional, and spiritual wellness. When your mind and body exist in a healthy environment, you will progress toward recovery. Your recovery is our priority. Please call us today at (866) 457-3843 for a consultation.