Written by Ryan Slobodian, clinical counsellor at Edgewood Treatment Centre With spring in the air, Pride festivities are just around the corner. The past year has been a year filled with challenges due to COVID-19. Current events related to social justice have also brought the issues of stigma and discrimination against a number of groups into … Read more
When a mental health disorder causes a substance abuse problem, the condition is called a co-occurring or concurrent disorder (also known as or dual-diagnosis or comorbidity). Simply put, it means having both an addiction and a mental health disorder at the same time or at different times. When mental health disorders are left untreated, they … Read more
There are many reasons why LGBTQ+ people face higher rates of addiction and mental health disorders than others. According to research, LGBTQ+ people are 2-to-4 times more likely to have a substance use disorder than their heterosexual counterparts. These addictions include alcohol, smoking, and other drugs. Some people, heterosexual or LGBTQ+, report using drugs not only for partying, but also for sex. However, this might happen more often among LGBTQ+ people. Many drugs that are more popular among LGBTQ+ people enhance energy and libido, and increase feelings of intimacy. For some people who have discomfort with their sexual orientation, drugs can lift inhibitions and increase the joy of their nightlife. Some regular community events that are popular with LGBTQ+ people, including circuit parties, more commonly involve drug use. A questionnaire-based study of gay men in San Francisco found that half of the studied population who had attended bars and dance clubs reported using methamphetamine in the past three months. As many as 46% of gay men surveyed reported drug use in the past year. Substance use problems are not exclusive to gay men. Lesbian and bisexual women report higher rates of alcohol use disorders than women of other sexual orientations.
The year has been off to a rocky start, with conflicts in the Middle East, plane crashes, political and ethical issues with a certain president whose name rhymes with “rump,” and then a global lockdown due the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic—and all this before spring! No doubt everyone is feeling the effects of such turmoil and changes to their lives and daily routines.