Substance Abuse within LGBTQ Communities
People who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBTQ+) are often faced with stigma and discrimination throughout their lives. Due to this discrimination, LGBTQ+ communities are at a higher risk for behavioral health issues which go hand-in-hand with substance use disorders to cope with the emotional trauma from these stigmas. This stigma has greatly affected how our treatment facilities have addressed the unique needs of the LGBTQ+ communities. It has left these individuals without specialized treatment, which can then create potential stigmas within the healthcare collective.
According to a National Survey, LGBTQ+ communities are more than twice as likely to use illicit drugs as heterosexual adults. The LGBTQ+ adolescent population, specifically, is 90% more likely to use illicit substances than their heterosexual adolescent counterparts. Additionally, intravenous drug use has led the LGBTQ+ population to an increased risk for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
At ASAC we provide an all-inclusive environment to our patients by creating treatment specific to individuals with substance use disorders. ASAC also aims to have targeted specific groups to the LGBTQ+ communities, focusing on substances that have the greatest impact within this demographic. We promote tobacco informative groups aimed at cessation as LGBTQ+ communities historically have been at a higher risk of use.
The ASAC Prevention Team attended the Cedar Rapids Pride Festival on July 7th, 2018 in NewBo City Market to talk with locals about the issues they face within their community. ASAC spoke with community members about smoking cessation and the effects prescription medication has within the overall community. Included was information on available disposal drop box locations.
Community members also held up signs speaking out about their futures and what makes them unique in support of the Youth Mental Health Campaign.
Our efforts are supported by the Linn County Coalition for Safe and Healthy Communities.
What an amazing turnout! ASAC is so happy to be a part of such an inclusive community!
ASAC is here and available to assist you with your treatment and prevention needs. If you have any questions please contact ASAC Prevention at firstname.lastname@example.org or 319-390-1884.