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Opium Addiction in the LGBT Community

Opium Addiction in the LGBT CommunityOpium is the dried liquid from an opium poppy plant, and it appears as a black or brown tar. The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community abuses many drugs, but they are increasingly abusing opiates to self-medicate emotional pain and relax after taking ecstasy, cocaine or methamphetamines. Get help today to avoid both of these problems.

Why the LGBT Community Abuses Drugs

The LGBT community has drug use rates. According to the 1996 study Breaking the Silence for Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Youth a staggering 55% of gay men will face a substance abuse problem during their lifetime. Several issues can motivate such behaviors including the following:

  • Sense of shame or social isolation from feeling different than others
  • Emotional stress and rejection over the coming out process
  • Psychological effects of prejudice, discrimination and bullying
  • Unresolved conflicts regarding past trauma and abuse
  • Peer pressure within the community to embrace the party scene

Stimulants and ecstasy in particular are popular party drugs within the LGBT community, but people often use opium and opiates to escape the social pressures of their lifestyle. This is especially true for gay and questioning youth.

Gay Youth and Substance Abuse

The 2011 National School Climate Survey lists statistics on LGBT students who suffer abuse in a year, and they found the following information:

  • 82% of LGBT students reported verbal harassment due to sexual orientation
  • Another 38% reported physical harassment and 18% physical abuse
  • 60% of LGBT students felt unsafe at school because of their orientation
  • 60% of those harassed or assaulted did not report the incident to school personnel
  • Several students reported discriminatory school policies against openly gay couples

Furthermore, the journal Addiction published a study in 2008 that revealed the following drug use rates among gay youth:

  • LGBT youth had 190% higher rates than heterosexual youth
  • Bisexual youth had 340% higher rates than heterosexual youth
  • Lesbian youth had 400% higher rates than heterosexual youth

Young people who struggle with their sexual identity often turn to drugs like opium to ease social anxiety. Drug use that starts early in childhood generally results in continued use during adulthood, especially if an addiction develops.

LGBT-Friendly Addiction Treatment

In 2003, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services produced “A Provider’s Introduction to Substance Abuse Treatment for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Individuals,” and it stressed that the LGBT community has its own common knowledge, attitudes, behavioral patterns, legacy, heritage and history that treatment should take into account. Many rehab facilities cater to LGBT patients in the following ways:

  • A culturally sensitive staff that helps LGBT patients feel more included and engaged
  • Treatment facility staff who come from the LGBT community themselves
  • Counseling related to common LGBT experiences like shame, abuse and isolation
  • Focus on resolving any rejection issues related to unsupportive family and friends
  • Group therapy that builds support and understanding with other LGBT patients
  • Contacts with LGBT recovery support groups and other key resources

In addition to providing a supportive atmosphere, rehab centers typically offer medically supervised detox, integrated treatment for mood disorders and behavioral therapies that improve how patients think. For opiate addicts, detox often involves gradually weaning the patient off the drug to minimize withdrawal symptoms.

Opium Addiction Rehab for LGBT Drug Addicts

Our counselors are available 24 hours a day to discuss treatment options, specific rehab facilities and even check health insurance policies for benefits. Our addiction helpline is toll free, so please call now.