Extensive research is being conducted on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ+) issues and many surveys and research show a definitive link between increased substance abuse and sexual minority groups. Moreover, research conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) shows that the use pattern of drug, tobacco and alcohol is significantly higher among the LGBTQ+ community compared to the general population. Not only is this community more prone to misuse but they start it at a very early age. Furthermore, 30 percent of the gay and transgender individuals consider attempting suicide. Substance abuse is a major factor behind this as it aggravates the loneliness and fear that the LGTBQ+ community feels in the ever-evolving social and political scenario.
The LGBTQ+ community struggles with isolation and degraded mental health due to fears surrounding their safety when it comes to the infiltrated social stigmas. In other words, identifying themselves as anything besides the heterosexual equates to losing their loved ones, being bullied at school, undisclosed bias at the workplace in particular and in the society in general. These are only some of the contributing factors that lead to the increased rates of substance abuse in the LGBTQ+ community.
Nevertheless, there are many ways to help yourself or a loved one deal with these burdens and it all starts with understanding. Understanding why the LGBTQ+ community is more prone to struggling with the alcohol or drug abuse can be the key to helping a loved one get free of it.