One of the many tragedies that LGBTQ people face is drug addiction. There are statistically significant higher rates of addiction amongst LGBTQ when compared to the general population. And this can cause LGBTQ people to experience even more problems and issues than they already do. As a whole population of people, an LGBTQ person is more likely to experience poverty, mental illness, discrimination, and many other problems. And those same problems can be worsened or exacerbated by drug addiction. So this makes LGBTQ people even more vulnerable to the effects of drug addiction. But why do LGTBQ even engage in drug addiction?
What are drugs exactly?
Drugs are substances of natural or synthetic origin which, when absorbed by the human body, modify one or more functions of the human body, particularly mental activity, sensations, and behavior. These kinds of drugs are usually called psychoactive substances. They can cause physical and mental problems if a person becomes addicted to the use of certain drugs.
Drugs change the perception of reality and how the human mind responds to it. Drug use presents dangers to the physical and mental health of a person, and it also presents dangers to their social behavior. It can result in accidents of any kind. Addiction to drugs is a huge problem around the world. And it causes problems such as poverty and poor health. And in a lot of cases, death due to the overdose or overuse of drugs.
What causes high addiction rates in LGBTQ people
Discrimination or stigmatization
Many LGBTQ is discriminated against because of the stigma of their sexual orientation or gender identity. A lot of LGBTQ persons may experience discrimination in the workplace, at school or even out in public places. It means that a lot of LGBTQ people have got to deal with a lot of stress. This stress and anxiety caused by discrimination can lead to more LGBTQ turning to the use of substances to deal with them in an unhealthy manner.
LGBTQ people are also the subject of a lot of hate crimes. They can get ridiculed in public and even experience physical attack out in public. Hate crimes are unfortunately a very common experience among those who are part of the LGBTQ population. All of the hate crimes that LGBTQ people face can motivate them to try using drugs as a form of escapism.
Rejection from family or friends
When LGBTQ people come out to their family or friends, they are not always welcomed with open arms. Rejection from family and friends can cause anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses that can lead an LGBTQ person to turn to using even more drugs. It is especially problematic when an LGBTQ is still in the closet or when they are young. The constant anxiety and worry that an LGBTQ person faces because of the hostility of their friends and family could cause them to become more withdrawn, and rebellious. It could lead them to substance abuse.
The stigma associated with being LGBTQ can also lead some people to self-hatred. It is called internalized homophobia. If a person hates themselves because they are queer, then they are more likely to develop mental illnesses, such as depression. It could make an LGBTQ person even more vulnerable to addiction. It is because an LGBTQ person is more likely to turn to using drugs if they have a mental illness. And while self-hatred is not a mental illness by itself, it is going to lead to the development of all sorts of different kinds of mental illnesses.
Addiction is not caused by genetics of LGBTQ people
LGBTQ persons are not biologically predisposed to abusing certain substances. These groups of people are simply not more biologically inclined to engage in high-risk behavior. In fact, the genetic makeup of LGBTQ is so varied, that it is impossible to point to one single gene amongst these groups of people that could lead to a solid identification of a genetic link to addiction. The science behind genetics is also still very undeveloped, so there is also no scientific way to pinpoint what sort of genetic trigger could be the cause of addiction. Addiction is not because LGBT people are more genetically inclined to substance abuse.
LGBTQ do not lack in any way
LGBTQ people do not lack self-control or discipline. They simply resort to using drugs for other external reasons, unrelated to their personality. They are not morally bankrupt. And their personality or character is not the cause of their addiction. In fact, it is the moral bankruptcies of the world around them that causes them to turn to addiction. Since the world and society in general, is so hostile to LGBTQ people, those same people will turn to the use of drugs as a form of escapism.
Faced with poverty, higher rates of mental illness, which are all due to the discrimination that LGBTQ face, it is no wonder that more LGBTQ are likely to turn to drug use. It is not the fault of LGBTQ that they are abusing drugs. The blame for higher rates of addiction will fall squarely on the shoulders of the bigots in society. It is because of the bigotry and the discrimination that LGBTQ people face, that so many of them are becoming addicted to alcohol, medications and illicit drugs. It is no wonder that because the world is so hostile to being LGBTQ, that a queer person must find some escape, even if that escape is at the risk of addiction to drugs and other kinds of substances.
What are some common drugs that are addictive?
There are certain classes of drugs which are more commonly used by people. It is either because these kinds of drugs are more readily available, and also because these drugs are highly addictive. Here are a few kinds of substances that are very addictive.
A lot of people widely abuses stimulant drugs such as amphetamine and Adderall. It is because the use of this drug can cause feelings of power and an increased energy level. And it is through those feelings that it creates, that people end up getting very addicted to stimulants.
Depressants such as alcohol and other kinds of substances are also very addictive. It is because these kinds of drugs can make the body and mind relax. It also has got a feel-good component, which also makes it highly addictive.
Hypnotic drugs, also known as sleeping pills such as Zolpidem, and benzodiazepines are very addictive prescription medications. If someone abuses these drugs, it can form a very strong psychological dependence. And addicts who use too much of this drug can become dependent on it pretty fast.
Narcotic or pain medication drugs, which include methadone and morphine, are very commonly used amongst most people as well. These kinds of drugs can make the user feel good about their body. And they would also really like the feeling of escapism that it creates within their body. Narcotics are the most toxic drugs. The production, distribution, and use of these narcotic drugs are very severely restricted and, for some of them, including heroin, are prohibited.
Drug rehab can help LGBT people
LGBT people who are suffering from addiction can find treatment through rehab. If they are sent to a rehab center, then a patient will be able to fully recover from both the mental and physical effects of drug addiction. It is without a doubt that many recovered addicts owe their health, to their stay within an addiction treatment facility.
Steps that are taken in drug rehab
The treatment within drug rehab involves weaning the body of the drug products, carried out under medical supervision; this is usually carried out over a period of a few days.
As soon as the physical condition of the patient allows it, the patient begins to participate in a fitness and exercises, with sports activities adapted to their capabilities.
A great emphasis is also placed on the activities of relaxation and meditation, with appropriate techniques. It is because stress can trigger the return to the use of drugs.
Dietary courses complete the complete care that is given within drug rehab. It is because malnutrition is a very common problem amongst those who are addicted to drugs. So a proper diet is one of the most important steps to take when trying to recover from the damage caused by addiction.
Therapy and drug addiction
Treating addiction through psychotherapy
At the same time during the detoxification process, the patient begins to participate in the psychotherapeutic program. Psychotherapy is performed by a team of doctors, psychologists, and addiction counselors.
The recovering addict will attend the individual sessions for therapy. Patients have individual sessions with the physician, psychologists, addiction counselors and nurses several times a week. Within these individual therapy sessions, the patient may be counseled on their problems such as the specific mental illnesses that they face.
Group therapy is also another treatment option for many recovering addicts. Patients in drug also attend different group sessions. These are therapeutic, educational and informative groups. These sessions are also led by doctors, psychologists, and counselors. Group sessions for therapy are meant to create a supportive environment for the patient to learn and grow in.
Family therapy and rehab
The patients’ family is invited to meet with the counselors during their stay. It is because family relationships can have a huge impact on the overall mental well-being of the LGBT patients. The relatives of the patient also can participate in group sessions that are intended for them during the duration of treatment of the patient. Meeting with other close people allows them to feel less isolated and to be able to share their experiences without feeling judged. Co-dependency is one of the main themes dealt with at these sessions. It is a matter of accompanying close people so that they can also introduce changes in their attitudes and behavior to avoid falling into old habits. These sessions help to improve communication within families because the same tools will be made available to close relatives, The same treatment concepts that are offered to their dependent relatives. These sessions also reveal difficulties in couples, in families requiring specific care.
LGBTQ-friendly drug rehab
If you are an LGBTQ person, then it may be better for you to sign up for a drug treatment facility that is friendly to LGBTQ people. You have got to look carefully for a rehab center that caters specifically to the needs of being LGBTQ. After all, there are unique problems that are faced by LGBTQ people. And these kinds of problems, such as homophobia, transphobia, discrimination, gender identity and more should be addressed by the rehab facility. It is only through finding the solutions to those kinds of issues faced by LGBTQ that they will be able to recover from the addiction that is plaguing them.
LGBTQ-friendly rehab centers are more common than you may think. Even drug treatment facilities that are geared towards more of the general population can still be able to treat LGBTQ people. As long as the background of the drug treatment center is checked, then there should be no reason as to why LGBTQ people cannot seek treatment there. For queer people it can be a good idea to check the website of the drug rehab center, to see whether or not, they have got a specific treatment plan for anyone that is queer.
Drug rehab is the place for recovery
You can think of drug rehab as a hospital stay. If a person is sick, they would obviously be sent to stay at a hospital to recover from their illness. And in the same way, drug or substance addiction should be treated as an illness. Within the halls of a treatment facility for addiction, some special programs and facilities are in place to heal the addiction of a recovering addict. Long-term recovery from addiction, without any relapses, is possible, as long as the addict seeks treatment from a rehab center.