LGBTQ Substance Use. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons LGBTQ individuals initially turn to drug use and why it is not the correct answer to any issue they may have.
Sexual orientation struggles:
This problem comes from many angles. Because of their sexual orientation LGBTQ individuals will be singled out by classmates at school, homophobic bullies anywhere and at any time of life. And, perhaps most disappointingly, from their own family members who simply cannot come to terms with the situation. Permanent hang-ups about sexual orientation and harsh criticism received on a very regular basis are an oft-cited reason LGBTQ substance use.
Stress is not a welcome visitor at the best of times. But to feel stressed more often than not is a heavy burden to bear. Many LGBTQ individuals suffer from this and substance use is often too great a temptation to resist. This is because it temporarily relieves stress, worries and concerns.
Loneliness and depression:
Everyone suffers from the occasional bout of loneliness. Depression will affect all of us at certain times in our lives but these are generally isolated. They are spaced issues that are far enough apart to understand why we are feeling that way.
Contrary to popular (completely incorrect!) belief being part of the LGBTQ community does not mean that every day is a Friday. Or that all members have masses of like-minded friends who like to meet for regular group sex sessions, and parties are the rule rather than the exception.
If only! Many LGBTQ individuals suffer from loneliness. This problem is often magnified because to have a life they need to move to a new city in order to escape hometown prejudices. Making a new start can be a testing experience and loneliness is often your only bedfellow, certainly during the early stages of such a move.
This and many other specific reasons can cause depression that gets harder to escape from the longer it continues. Suffering from one of these conditions is often enough to tempt a person to use substances as an escape. But many LGBTQ members suffer from both conditions. This turns substance temptation into substance essential.
LGBTQ Substance use is NOT the answer:
Turning to substance use will not solve any of your problems. While under the influence they may be put temporarily on hold. But, as soon as you finish a session those problems will be queuing up for attention.
In all likelihood you will be feeling worse for wear following your last substance session. This set of circumstances produces a very quick solution in terms of leaving those unwanted problems marking-time for another day/night.
That is to reach for the bottle, prepare the pipe, or stripe a couple of large lines to get back on an even-keel.
Highly addictive substances are commonly used:
The vast majority of drugs (illegal and prescription) and alcohol have addiction potential. Some more than most. Substances favoured by community members include alcohol, amphetamines and heroin. All of which have a high addiction potential.
What begins as occasional use can easily turn into weekly use, then use every few days. Until a person is using their substance of choice on a daily basis and find they cannot get through the day without it.
LGBTQ Substance use is not the answer:
It needs to be made clear that using substances to solve problems does not work. What it can do is leave a person struggling with addiction.
If things are getting on top of you there are help-lines and like-minded addiction counsellors out there who will be only too willing to help.
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