Why Is The LGBTQ Community More Susceptible To Addiction?
Compared to their sexual majority peers, LGBTQ youth are twice as likely to use substances. Nearly 2 out of every 5 LGBTQ youth reported using drugs in the past year. Members of the LGBTQ community are not only more likely to have a substance use disorder but are also more likely to have a more severe substance use disorder.
Understanding why members of the LGBTQ community are more likely to use substances is key to changing these statistics. Knowing why a person is more likely to turn to substance use can help their friends and family to be more supportive. This knowledge can also inform outreach efforts and demonstrate areas of need.
There are many reasons a person in the LGBTQ community may use substances. Some of the most common include:
- Negative stigma
- Lack of family support
- Sense of social isolation
While each of these issues alone may cause a person to turn to substance use, often there is a combination of root causes. Each of these chronically stressful experiences may also increase the chance of a person developing a mental health condition, such as depression or anxiety.
The problem may be even worse for youth as LGBTQ youth, who are more likely to be bullied, excluded, or assaulted at school compared to their heterosexual peers. They are less likely to have a trusted, supportive adult in their family.