Sexual orientation and LGBTQ Drug Use. Those belonging to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans-gendered or queer community must confront adversity in numerous ways. Their sexual orientation puts many under unwarranted pressure that can cause problems throughout their lives. Constant criticism, questioning and whispers take a toll on self-esteem and well-being.
LGBTQ Drug Use – Pressures of sexual non-conformity:
Conforming to what society in general sees as ‘normal’ sexual orientation is obviously not something that is possible for individuals belonging to the LGBTQ community. This gives rise to homophobes, racists, bullies and those who know no better an excuse to assault them verbally as well as physically.
The abuse that many LGBTQ individuals endure often start early in life and continues throughout it. Such sustained and prolonged prejudice makes it completely understandable that many ‘victims’ suffer physical and psychological effects. These psychological effects are detrimental to their well-being.
Examples of these totally uncalled for attacks include:
Those whose sexual orientation differs from social norms will be teased. Often verbally bullied and often suffering physical violence while growing up. The school playground can be a vicious breeding ground for this type of behaviour. As LGBTQ individuals grow into their mid-teens the thought of drug use as a means of escape and to ease a troubled mind is an attractive temptation that many fall into.
LGBTQ Drug Use – Family issues:
It is very often the case that other family members simply cannot accept the lifestyle of an LGBTQ individual. This can make life unbearable. In an attempt to relieve the depression, anxiety and stress caused, drug use is once again seen as an escape from this grossly unwanted and undeserved disapproval.
Covert hostility in the workplace:
Many LGBTQ individuals find regular but carefully orchestrated hostility from some of their work colleagues. This is borne from ignorance, mistrust and attitudes which refuse to understand that sexual orientation is a personal choice. A choice that should be respected. Daily tension and suffering from covert hostility can encourage drug use as a means of escaping the psychological pain such attitudes cause.
Drug use is not the answer:
LGBTQ individuals who are suffering from any form of discrimination must understand that drug use is not the answer. Occasional use can rapidly turn into regular use and before a person knows it they are using their substance of choice on a daily basis.
Heavy drug use or excessive drinking brings a whole set of new issues to the table. Very often causing unwanted physical and mental health problems. It is very important to remember that while addiction may be relatively easy to find, it is much more difficult to leave behind.
LGBTQ Drug Use – Finding ways to cope:
Finding positive ways to cope with these regular but unwanted situations is the way to go. By focusing on all that is positive in your life and making the effort to build a network of supportive, like-minded individuals will help tremendously.
Self-esteem will gradually rebuild and knowing you have good friends and acquaintances that can be relied on can be a huge boost. It also goes a long way to helping a person come to terms with any guilt or long-standing misgivings they harbor relating to their sexual orientation.
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