Today cocaine use is at an all-time high in the LGBTQ community. In a recent survey, the results showed that LGBTQ individuals were 10 times more likely to use cocaine in the last month.1 Not surprisingly, LGBTQ cocaine addiction is one of the key concerns for counselors and health professionals. At one point, cocaine was considered a staple of American nightlife. Mark Kleiman, a professor of public policy at the University of California, has said, “To be a cocaine user in 1979 was to be rich, trendy and fashionable. People weren’t worried about cocaine. It didn’t seem to be a real problem.”2 Today the truth is very clear: cocaine is a dangerous — and often deadly — addictive drug that destroys lives.
Signs of Cocaine Addiction
If you are not sure if a friend, loved one, or coworker is using cocaine, here are some of the key signs and symptoms.
- A sudden increase in energy
- Running nose and constant sniffing
- Paranoid behavior
- Blood shot eyes
- Rapid talking
- Aggressiveness or feelings of irritation
If you notice a pattern of behavior as listed above, please talk with one of our admissions coordinators. It is very possible that your friend or loved one needs treatment. Cocaine addiction treatment helps the individual understand the reasons why they take the drug and to develop decision-making skills that keep them off the drug in the future.
Health Consequences of Cocaine
While most people initially use cocaine for social reasons, cocaine is very addictive. Social use quickly evolves into daily use. This fact is concerning because few drugs carry as many harmful long-term side effects as cocaine. Some of the most dangerous of these potential health hazards include:
- High blood pressure
- Permanent damage to the nasal cavities
- Heart attack
The goal of cocaine addiction treatment is to help the individual understand the reasons why they use the drug and to develop decision-making skills to stay sober.
Addiction Within the LGBTQ Community
Gay men have the highest incidence of cocaine addiction. Cocaine abuse gives the user energy and heightened self-confidence, often in a party setting. The drug allows individuals to stay up late and to experience a more pronounced state of consciousness.
In addition to the health hazards listed above, many men see their financial good standing collapse as a result of cocaine addiction. The drug is expensive. In a brief period, people can lose everything in pursuit of more cocaine.
Many law enforcement officials confirm that many gay men may turn to prostitution to finance their cocaine habit. Although this occurs in only a small percentage of the LGBTQ community, the behavior is dangerous enough to merit mention in this article. With HIV/AIDS still casting a long shadow over the community, unprotected sex with multiple partners still carries a heavy potential price. In 2014, according to the NSDUH, about 913,000 Americans met the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders criteria for dependence or abuse of cocaine (in any form) during the past 12 months.3
Specialized Addiction Help for the LGBT Community
Many individuals who enter LGBTQ-friendly addiction treatment can break the cycle of cocaine addiction and gain a better understanding of their sexuality. These are the clear benefits of working with counselors at a gay/lesbian drug rehab facility.
Michael’s House is a cocaine rehab facility that understands the special needs of LGBTQ patients. Our residential facility is located in beautiful Palm Springs, California. Michael’s House offers a refuge of healing and restoration that prepares you for a life without drug addiction. Please don’t delay any longer—take this important step in your recovery journey toward getting the help you need.
1 Morrison, Sarah. “Drug Use ‘seven times Higher’ among Gays.” The Independent. Independent Digital News and Media. 22 Sept. 2012. Web. Accessed 19 June 2017.
2 Hellerman, Caleb. “Cocaine: The Evolution of the Once ‘wonder’ Drug.” CNN. Cable News Network. 22 July 2011. Web. Accessed 19 June 2017.
3What Is the Scope of Cocaine Use in the United States?” National Institute of Drug Abuse. July 2016. Web. Accessed 19 June 2017.