Difficulties To Overcome Substance Abuse By LGBTQ+ People

Difficulties To Overcome Substance Abuse By LGBTQ+ People

This article is the property of (Treatment challenges faced by LGBTQ+ people)

Substance abuse treatment for LGBTQ+ people follows the same principles as addiction treatment for heterosexuals. However, health professionals need to account for their patients’ sexual identities and the troubles they face on a regular basis.

At times, health care providers and their patients may think these feelings stem from a person’s sexual orientation. But they typically originate from prejudice toward LGBTQ+ people.


LGBTQ+ individuals who are in therapy reported feeling:

  • Lonely
  • Fearful
  • Depressed
  • Anxious
  • Angry
  • Distrustful


Homophobia and prejudice against LGBTQ+ people make it difficult for them to seek treatment. Often, treatment centers do not have the appropriate training to cater to queer people  — the staff may be insensitive or hostile toward them.

Transgender people are often reluctant to enroll in health coverage plans. Which may result in plan exclusions for health services such as hormone therapy and surgical procedures. They may also face limited access to preventative gender-specific services such as pap tests or mammograms.

fiftyshadesofgay/Challenges faced by LGBT people
Image courtesy –

“I’ve heard way too many stories of my transgender friends in Springfield, Missouri, being denied treatment just because of their identity. It’s horrible,” Lemalu told


In fact, a National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism report mentioned that stigma, intolerance and open discrimination were the most substantial barriers to substance abuse prevention and treatment among the queer community.

These barriers hinder exposure to healthy role models and limit access to LGBTQ+-supportive resources and substance-free outlets. They also contribute to the alienation of LGBTQ+ individuals, increasing their vulnerability to substances of abuse.

Methods Of Treatment

LGBTQ+ people may face several challenges in family, couples and group therapy. Some group-therapy participants may be homophobic and make derogatory comments toward queer clients.

Couples sometimes face a lack of sensitivity toward them. And  even therapists may fail to tailor their programs to include same-sex couples. On the other hand, family therapy poses its own problems if the family is in denial of the person’s sexual identity.


Leave a Comment