For many in the LGBT community, one of the times when individuals become the most vulnerable to drug addiction is during the “coming out” process. In fact, the majority of LGBT drug addictions form during the coming out process – a time in which a gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered individual embraces his or her status as a sexual minority openly and proudly. Unfortunately, despite the joy and pride associated with these pronouncements, many individuals find loved ones and members of their families of origin reject them as a result. The pain, grief and separation associated with the coming out process can be tough to bear – and even for those who receive favorable receptions, the stress and anxiety leading up to coming out can also be extremely difficult. As a result, many individuals begin to use drugs to elicit calm, happiness and relaxation during the coming out process – only to succumb to drug addictions in the wake of such openness.

Addiction During the Coming Out Process

During the coming out process, many LGBT individuals experience high levels of stress. For those with the strength to do so during the adolescent years, rejection of any kind can cause great pain. When dealing with an issue as deeply rooted as sexual identity, many LGBT individuals begin to self-medicate with drug use to achieve confidence and the façade of resilience. The years prior to the moment of coming out can take their toll as well, as LGBT individuals finally move into an extremely public affirmation of their sexuality, after years of secrecy, denial and alienation. Likewise, any rejection received by coworkers, friends, family members or other members of society can lead to deep damage to the LGBT individual’s sense of self worth.

Conformity Within the LGBT Community

Another issue within the LGBT community is the presence of drugs and alcohol at social gatherings. Studies of party atmospheres within the LGBT community have shown a higher presence of intoxicating substances (spanning street drugs, prescription drugs and alcohol) at LGBT events than at mainstream functions. Additionally, the pressure to fit in to the LGBT community can also lead to use of drugs as a social lubricant, as many individuals who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered still encounter prejudice from within the LGBT inner circles, as racism, intolerance towards others of differing alternate sexualities and ignorance still manages to invade the community.

Finding Freedom After Coming Out

For many LGBT individuals, the coming out process leaves the residue of drug addiction on their lives. If you have struggled with drug addiction stemming from coming out, familial rejection, relationship issues, depression or simply low self-esteem, we welcome you to call us at any time of day or night. Our caring, experienced addiction treatment counselors can help align you with an LGBT-friendly rehabilitation program that matches your needs, personal preferences and desires. We would count it a privilege to speak with you and help you find the drug addiction recovery help you need and deserve.