Gay or Straight: Drugs hurt all of us

For many years running, June is pride month. Social media is striped with the rainbow and folks around the planet both celebrate the barriers overcome by the LGBT community and work towards continued fairness. While the USA has accepted gay marriage and the majority of workplaces are now more prone to treat people equally, the disease called addiction is more prevalent than ever.

Addiction does not discriminate. It impacts men, women, older, younger, black, white, gay and straight. While it continues as a leading cause of death, it has embedded itself deeply into most communities.

Recently, The Huffington Post, guest columnist Dr. Jonathon Horey wrote about the challenge in the LGBT community

While the open discussion of identity and being LGBT has become more customary, those who identify as LGBT often exist silently – in the closet, in fear, ashamed, and sometimes suffering with addiction. Members of the LGBT community face a two-edged sword when it comes to addiction. The emotional stress that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals often feel – including rejection, isolation and low self-esteem – as well as the threats of physical violence, prejudice and discrimination, make them vulnerable to addiction. At the same time, these factors decrease the likelihood that they will receive effective treatment. Too often, members of the LGBT community face internalized stigma and homophobia. These internal struggles with themselves can make it more difficult to seek out or achieve long-term recovery.

Studies have demonstrated that members of the LGBT community suffer a significantly higher incidence of drug addiction. According to the Center for American Progress, an independent, nonpartisan policy institute, an estimated 20 to 30 percent of gay and transgender people abuse substances, compared to about nine percent of the general population.

The key is getting into treatment. It is about knowing that your challenge should not be faced alone. It is about going to a place that treats folks equally and is focused on one thing: the well-being and the recovery of every patient who enters. This usually works best in residential recovery. There is a place called The Pinnacle Treatment Network who understands. www.pinnacletreatment.com