"Small Victories of Survival in a Deeply Homophobic World": Current Realities and Paths Forward for Substance Use in the LGBTQIA+ Community
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According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, members of the LGBTQIA+ community are disproportionately impacted by problematic substance use (National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2020). Despite this well-documented reality, there is still limited funding and access to substance use treatment for queer and trans people. This exploratory paper surveys the literature on the prevalence of substance use in the LGBTQIA+ community in the United States (US), highlighting the historical and cultural realities leading to this trend within the context of the minority stress model. The article then outlines a path forward, suggesting the best treatment models for social workers in the field. Suggestions include integrated healthcare, trauma-informed, LGBTQIA+-specific treatment models, cognitive behavioral therapy focusing on co-occurring Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and substance use disorder, harm reduction, and crisis intervention outside of policing.
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