Members of the LGBTQ+ community face many challenges that have a significant impact on their physical and mental health. Discrimination faced by the LGBT+ community can limit access to high quality mental health services and increase the risk for mental health conditions. Consequently, it is not uncommon for individuals of the LGBTQ+ community to cope in unhealthy ways including substance abuse.
The prevalence of mental health disorders in the LGBTQ+ community is predominantly due to the stigma and prejudices that exist today. Discrimination, harassment and trauma related to sexual orientation or gender identity are harmful to mental health.
If friends and family are unsupportive or lack understanding, coping with rejection of one’s identity from a close relationship or even internal conflicts such as not accepting their own identity can weigh heavy on mental health. Studies have found that within the LGBTQ+ community, 61% struggle with depression, 45% have PTSD, and 36% have an anxiety disorder.
Challenges faced by the LGBTQ+ community face also contribute to the high prevalence of substance abuse. Substance abuse is a critical issue among members of the LGBTQ+ community. Individuals of the LGBTQ+ community are 12.2 times more likely to use amphetamines and are 9.5 times more likely to use heroin than those in the general population. Data suggests 20%-25% of the community have a moderate to severe alcohol dependency.
When substance abuse co-occurs with mental health conditions it is referred to as dual diagnosis. Pride month presents an important opportunity to raise awareness of dual diagnosis in the LGBTQ+ community. At Clear Recovery Center, we understand dual diagnosis is best treated when both diagnoses are addressed simultaneously, and our expert clinical team addresses each co-occurring disorder with the same level of attention and care. If you or a loved one would like to learn more about our dual diagnosis treatment program, contact us today.