The LGBTQ+ community faces many societal challenges. The prevalence of alcohol addiction in the LGBTQ+ community is not an exception. The National Institute on Drug Abuse states that many LGBTQ+ people suffer from addiction due to stress. Not only is exposure to violence, stigma, and discrimination are all contributing factors, but many self-medicate with substances to cope with these pressures.
Alcohol addiction and abuse are serious issues in the LGBTQ+ community. Alcoholism can be a factor in the perpetuation of other health problems.
Furthermore, statistics show that the LGBTQ+ community is more likely to drink heavily and develop alcohol-related health problems. LGBTQ+ people are more likely to experience addiction and abuse than other groups. Learn the signs, risk factors, as well as ways to get help with alcohol addiction in the LGBTQ+ community.
The LGBTQ+ Alcohol Abuse Epidemic: A Look at the Facts
The LGBTQ+ community is not immune to the dangers of alcohol abuse, and alcohol is dangerous for those within the community. However, what mitigating issues lead to this high abuse rate?
- Suicide risk
- Threats of violence
- Societal condemnation
- Lack of acceptance among family and friends
Additionally, alcohol addiction in the LGBTQ+ community continues to be a rising concern. To illustrate, it responds to the marginalization and other types of violence experienced daily by LGBTQ+ individuals. Not only is there a growing body of research about alcohol consumption in this community, but individuals are beginning to present increasing rates of associated risk factors.
- Family discord
- Mental health diagnosis: depression, anxiety
- Aggressive behaviors
Reasons for addiction can be multi-factorial, including racism, as well as intersectional discrimination.
What Causes LGBTQ+ Alcohol Abuse?
LGBTQ+ people are at a higher risk of becoming alcoholics than the heterosexual population. There are many reasons for this, including categories such as biological, social, and cultural nature. Leading to:
- The increased likelihood of developing alcohol-use disorder due to genetic predisposition for addiction.
- Social determinations, discrimination, and the stigma that LGBTQ+ people experience.
- Cultural factors include internalized homophobia. When LGBTQ+ people start to believe that they are less deserving than other people.
LGBTQ+ Specific Factors That Contribute to Alcohol Abuse
LGBTQ+ people are more likely than heterosexuals to experience mental health issues and substance abuse. The LGBTQ+ community is at a higher risk of alcohol abuse than heterosexual people. Additionally, there are many factors that contribute to this. Alcohol is used as a coping mechanism. Further, for LGBTQ+ people, it helps them escape the discrimination they experience in their lives.
Support your LGBTQ+ friends and family suffering from Alcohol Abuse
Alcoholism is a serious and chronic disease. It can be difficult for LGBTQ+ people to identify alcoholism. The drinking patterns fill the gap where love and acceptance are lacking. The LGBTQ+ community is at a higher risk for alcohol abuse. Alcohol abuse can lead to many problems, including liver disease, depression, and death.
It is essential to know the signs of an addiction to alcohol. Particularly for someone in the LGBTQ+ community, it must be treated quickly. If you are suffering from alcohol addiction and abuse, help is available. You are deserving of living a life of sobriety with love and acceptance. Know that you are worthy of support for the underlying conditions of alcoholism. There is no shame in needing or seeking treatment. A healthy lifestyle is yours to claim.
For addiction recovery support and treatment in the south Florida area, contact us today.
Addiction can happen to anyone—no matter the gender, or genetic predisposition. The Harm Reduction Centers offers a wide variety of addiction treatment services aimed at your recovery. We provide personalized treatment plans. Call (866) 205-1382 at any time to reach our admissions team.