“According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the rate of substance abuse disorders among LGBT individuals isn’t well known, but studies indicate it may be 20% to 30%, which is significantly higher than the general population (9%)” (Redding, 2014).
One of the causal factors for this is stress- from discrimination, bullying, stigma and rejection by friends and family. The fact that most LGBTI youth use bars and clubs as a meeting place places them in an easily accessible location when they are at their most vulnerable.
Many LGBTI people are internally homophobic as a result of their upbringing and culture. This causes a major issue when trying to accept who you really are and can lead to people isolating themselves and engaging in unhealthy behaviour such as substance abuse and self-harm. Without help this behaviour can progress to a dangerous level.
Young people in this situation need to be aware that there is help available. If family and friends are unsupportive, a simple phone call can be the start to changing your life and getting the help you need. There are national help-lines but there are also people locally that you can talk to face-to-face who will support you through your journey.
MAKE A CALL , IT CAN’T HURT MORE THAN YOU ARE HURTING RIGHT NOW!
LGBTI Help-line 1890 929 539
FDYS 053 9123262
Alcoholics Anonymous 01 8420700 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Narcotics Anonymous 01 6728000 email: email@example.com
- Young people
www.fdys.ie provide support and information to young LGBTI people in Wexford county.
- Information and support
You can find supportive information and the numbers for LGBTI help lines nationwide at www.lgbtmentalhealth.ie.
- Transgender support
The Transgender Equality Network Ireland provides support for transgender people.