Pride Month at Pinnacle: Recognizing and Celebrating the LGBTQIA+ Community

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Pride Month happens every year in the U.S., and at Pinnacle Treatment Centers, we join in the movement to recognize and honor members of the LGBTQIA+ community. If you’re a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, please know this:

We see you and value you.
We celebrate you.
We’re PROUD right alongside you.

The Pride Month tradition began 54 years ago, with Gay Pride Parades in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Atlanta. Those marches and parades honored the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. In the year 1999, President Bill Clinton made Gay and Lesbian Pride Month official. And in 2009, President Barack Obama made it more inclusive, recognizing every June as Lesbian, Gay, and Transgender Pride Month.

To read a quick history of Pride Month, please navigate to the blog section of our website and read our article from Pride Month 2023:

June is PRIDE Month at Pinnacle: The LGBTQIA+ Community and Addiction

We’re proud alongside our LGBTQIA+ recovery peers because we know recovery is hard. Add to that the stigma LGBTQIA+ people face every day, and we understand the strength and courage it takes to navigate the world living your true self and embracing your true identity.

That’s why we’re proud, and committed to welcoming members of the LGBTQIA+ community into our treatment family: we’ll meet you where you are and offer the best available addiction treatment in whatever way you’ll accept it.

Our motto is any door is the right door, and we’re ready to open that door wide for LGBTQIA+ people who need evidence-based support for alcohol and substance use disorder (AUD/SUD).

Recognizing Challenges: Alcohol, Substance Use, Mental Health Issues and the LGBTQIA+ Community

The stigma we mention above is real. Evidence shows that 40 percent of LGBTQIA+ adults experience disapproval from family and friends, while 86 percent of LGBTQIA+ youth report experiencing bullying at school.

The discrimination, stigma, and bullying create significant barriers to overall wellbeing for LGBTQIA+ people. And it starts early in life. Here’s how the experts at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) describe the impact of stigma on LGBTQIA+ youth and teens:

“LGBT youth use alcohol and drugs for many of the same reasons as their heterosexual peers…However, LGBT youth may be more vulnerable as a result of the need to hide their sexual identity and the ensuing social isolation. As a result, they may use alcohol and drugs to deal with stigma and shame, to deny same-sex feelings, or to help them cope with ridicule or antigay violence.”

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the latest facts and figures on alcohol use, addiction, mental health, and suicidality among LGBQIA+ adults, as reported in the SAMHSA publication “Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Behavioral Health: Results from the 2021 and 2022 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health: Results from the 2021 and 2022 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health.”

LGBTIA+ NSDUH: Alcohol and Opioid Use, Alcohol and Opioid Use Disorder (AUD/OUD)

Alcohol and Substance Use

LGBTQIA+ adults 18+:

  • 60% reported past-month alcohol use
    • 52.7% non-LGBTQIA+
  • 29.5% reported binge drinking
    • 24.3% non-LGBTQIA+
  • 9.1% reported heavy alcohol use
    • 6.3% non-LGBTQIA+
  • 47.6% reported using any illicit drug
    • 23.6% non-LGBTQIA+
  • 7.1% reported opioid misuse
    • 3.1% non-LGBTQIA+
  • 8.4% reported stimulant misuse
    • 3.6% non-LGBTQIA+
  • 7.4% reported using hallucinogens
    • 2.8% non-LGBTQIA+
  • 4.3% reported misuse of sedatives/tranquilizers
    • 1.7% non-LGBTQIA+

Opioid Use Disorder (OUD), Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD), Substance Use Disorder (SUD)

LGBTQIA+ adults aged 18+:

  • 4.3% had opioid use disorder
    • 2% non-LGBTQIA+
  • 16.7% had alcohol use disorder
    • 11.3% non-LGBTQIA+
  • 30.1% had any substance use disorder
    • 17.2% non-LGBTQIA+

Now let’s look at the mental health data from this latest report.

LGBTIA+ NSDUH: Mental Illness, Major Depressive Episode, Co-Occurring Disorders, Suicidality, Adults 18+

Mental Illness

  • Any Mental Illness:
    • 43.4% LGBTQIA+
    • 21.8% non-LGBTQIA+
  • Serious Mental Illness:
    • 14% LGBTQIA+
    • 5.1% non-LGBTQIA+

Major Depressive Episode (MDE)

  • 18.7% LGBTQIA+
  • 7.7% non-LGBTQIA+

Co-Occurring AMI and SUD

  • 18.6% LGBTQIA+
  • 7.2% non-LGBTQIA


  • Thoughts of suicide
    • 12.3% among LGBTQIA+
    • 4.3% non-LGBTQIA
  • Made a suicide plan
    • 4% among LGBTQIA+
    • 1.1% non-LGBTQIA+
  • Attempted suicide
    • 1.9% among LGBTQIA+
    • 0.5% non-LGBTQIA+

Here’s how the authors of the study characterize this data:

“Results from the 2021 and 2022 NSDUHs indicate that lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults are more likely than straight adults to use substances, experience mental health issues including major depressive episodes, and experience serious thoughts of suicide.”

That’s why we join the Pride Movement every year, and why we make it a point to say it loud. We understand our advocacy for the LGBQIA+ community and our commitment to welcoming members of the LGBQIA+ community into our treatment family makes a difference and has a positive impact.

But how can you be an ally to the LGBTQIA+ community?

Things You Can Do as an Ally: Support Your LGBTQIA+ Friends and Family Members

The most important thing you can do is educate yourself about the LGBTQIA+ experience, and understand the significant challenges LGBTQIA+ people face every day, simply because they’re living as their true selves, out in the open. Here’s an outstanding resource – a complete guide, really – for being an LGBTQIA+ ally, published by the non-profit LGBTQIA+ advocacy group, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation:

Report: Being an LGBTQIA+ Ally

In that report, they suggest five simple ways that individuals can, on their own, act as an influential LGBTQIA+ ally:

  1. Read a publication by, for, or about LGBTQIA+ issues.
  2. Show your support for the LGBTQIA+ community by posting about Pride Month on social media
  3. Participate in LGBTQIA+ advocacy efforts, like Pride Month
  4. Call or email your elected officials and advocate for LGBTQIA+ rights.
  5. Stand up for LGBTQ+ issues in every aspect of your life — even if there are no LGBTQ+ people there to watch.

In addition, you can participate in any of the 30+ Pride Festivals happening this June. For a full list of Pride Month events nationwide, click here.

Find Support, Find Your People: LGBTQIA+ Helpful Resources and Links

The National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) provides this excellent list of LGBTQI friendly mental health resources for you:

Happy Pride Month!

The materials provided on the Pinnacle Blog are for information and educational purposes only. No behavioral health or any other professional services are provided through the Blog and the information obtained through the Blog is not a substitute for consultation with a qualified health professional. If you are in need of medical or behavioral health treatment, please contact a qualified health professional directly, and if you are in need of emergency help, please go to your nearest emergency room or dial 911.