LGBT Therapy San Diego
Those who identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender as well as those who hide their sexual orientation from family and friends may find that dealing with family pressures and societal stigmas create stress, anxiety and depression. For many individuals, this can also lead to substance abuse and other addictive behaviors. The team at APEX understands the unique challenges of the LGBT community. We help our patients come to a place of acceptance about who they are so they can end the cycle of addiction.
There hasn’t been substantial research that could say how frequent alcoholism and drug abuse is among the LGBT community. However, some preliminary research and professional experience suggest that alcohol use disorder (AUD) is rampant among the LGBT members, and around 40% have been found to drink excessive amounts of alcohol on a weekly basis. Furthermore, recreational drug use appears to be very common and the substances are marijuana, ecstasy, crystal meth, speed and amyl nitrate or poppers.
What is even more alarming is that teenagers and young adults who have identified themselves as LGBT or who are insecure about their sexual identity are much more at risk from developing addictive patterns. Unfortunately, it has also been discovered that once they do fall prey to addiction, they are less likely to seek professional help to rehabilitate.
The connection between an LGBT identity and alcohol or drug abuse lies on several levels. First off, depression in this community is a widespread problem and the link between depression and addiction has been well explored. Alcohol and substances serve these individuals as paths to avoid the family and social stigma, relieve shame and guilt and compensate for the lack of self-acceptance. At the same time, alcohol and drugs are used to enhance sexual experiences. Peer pressure in the community also seems to be high.
The fact that an addict is a member of the LGBT community significantly compounds the problem, because of the associated stigma and accumulated shame and guilt. This is especially true for LGBT individuals who are also dually diagnosed with a mental health disorder.
LGBT individuals, young and adults, tend to avoid reaching out for professional help because they are afraid of being rejected. However, APEX Rehab is a reputed San Diego drug rehab center with a staff that is accepting, compassionate and trained to help LGBT community members.