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Topic 5 – The 2SLGBTQQIA Community and Substance Use

Topic Progress:

While little research money has been dedicated to the field of Problematic Substance Use and the 2SLGBTQQIA community, it is nonetheless recognized that stigma and homophobia have adverse, negative effects on individuals from sexual minority communities. The research consistently shows that lesbian, gay and bisexual adults are at higher risk for problematic substance use, and sexual minority youth are anywhere from two to five times more likely to use drugs and alcohol than heterosexual youth.

Below are some points to consider, therefore, when working with 2SLGBTQQIA-identifying individuals:

  • Don’t assume your client is heterosexual.
  • Understand that homophobia is the problem and not sexual orientation.
  • Address your own homophobia and heterosexual bias.
  • Recognize how a client identifying as a gay, lesbian, or bisexual person is a positive outcome in the helping process.
  • Internalized homophobia can get in the way of achieving a positive identity so work with clients to decrease their own homophobia.

The link below reviews issues related to substance use in queer and trans communities with some suggested resources in British Columbia:

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