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Drug Misuse in the Transgender Community

young woman staring blankly into space while seated on couch contemplating drug misuse in the transgender community

If you or a loved one is transgender, you know it has been a long struggle to find your identity, feel comfortable in it, and make changes to support it. You know you still face social, personal, and political challenges. If these challenges include addiction and mental health issues, you aren’t alone. Behavioral health issues disproportionately affect members of the LGBTQ community. Don’t feel discouraged by this. There are allies and advocates in addiction and mental health treatment who are ready to help. An LGBTQ-friendly addiction treatment center like Michael’s House can help you or a loved one overcome addiction among the transgender community. Transgender drug misuse and addiction is a legitimate concern that can be addressed through an LGBTQ-friendly addiction treatment center.

Reach out to Michael’s House at 760.548.4032 if you or a loved one are affected by transgender drug addiction.

Minority Stress and Your Health

So why do so many lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people have to deal with drug abuse? A lot of this substance use stems from marginalization, prejudice, and stigma. You may feel isolated or different from the people around you. You may feel judged or misunderstood.

These misconceptions and discrimination are known as minority stress and can affect the following areas of LGBTQ life:

  • Housing
  • Employment
  • Relationship recognition
  • Health care
  • Religious beliefs
  • Pronoun recognition

Minority stress is the term used to describe the unequal psychological burden that is experienced by members of minority groups due to prejudice, discrimination, and other forms of social stigma.

This type of social stress can lead to a range of mental health issues, such as:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Substance misuse
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Minority stress has been found to be especially detrimental among LGBTQ individuals due to homophobia, transphobia, and biphobia in society.

By understanding how this form of discrimination affects their lives, individuals from minority groups (including transgender people) can recognize warning signs early and make informed decisions about pursuing help or support when needed. Taking the steps necessary for one’s mental well-being is crucial to effectively cope with stressful situations such as those brought on by minority status.

Stigma and Drug Abuse

If you feel stigmatized, left out, or ignored, you may respond by using drugs or alcohol. This may or may not be a conscious decision—it could be a form of self-medication or escapism. Unfortunately, substance use doesn’t create positive change; it worsens things. However, you aren’t alone in turning to drugs or alcohol in an attempt to find escape, relief, or answers.

Some of the most commonly used drugs in the LGBTQ community include the following:

  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco
  • Marijuana
  • Stimulants (such as cocaine)
  • Prescription medications (such as opioids)
  • Inhalants (such as nitrous oxide and glue sniffing)
  • Hallucinogens (such as LSD, ecstasy, and psilocybin mushrooms)

It’s important to understand that these substances may bring temporary relief, but in the long run, they have serious consequences. Substance use has been linked to higher rates of depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems in LGBTQ individuals. Additionally, many of these substances are illegal and could lead to legal troubles or financial difficulties.

Michael’s House Offers Hope for Battling Addiction Among the Transgender Community

It may seem that the problem of transgender drug misuse is overwhelming. The statistics seem grim, and the social stigma and minority stress surrounding the community make it hard to see the resources available. But help is available—seek out addiction treatment specialists who are allies and advocates for LGBTQ community members and tap into their network of resources, like Michael’s House.

Michael’s House provides compassionate, comprehensive care. We understand your unique challenges and offer unique opportunities for growth and healing. All treatment plans include integrated care that addresses all mental, physical, and emotional health aspects. We help you do much more than stop using drugs or alcohol. With our help, you can develop healthy coping skills, positive relationships, and a deeper understanding of who you are. We help you heal, grow and move forward in life.

Call 760.548.4032 or contact us online to learn more about our programs and services or to get started with treatment.