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LGBT communities + substance use

Light at the End of the Tunnel

Transition was the biggest blessing in Cole’s life, but it also brought along the stress of navigating a major life transition without the support of family, friends, and community members. He started partying to cope, and ended up dropping out of school to work in order to make money for drugs. Now sober, in school, and on a path to support LGBTQ2S youth, Cole reflects on the importance of treatment options that address interdependent challenges like gender identity, homelessness, and drug use and look at the whole person.


LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) people often face prejudice, discrimination and isolation. Now imagine the doubly stigmatizing effect of being LGBT and having a mental illness or substance use problem. These added stresses can lead, in part, to higher rates of mental health and substance use problems. But how do you talk about sexual orientation or gender with your service provider?  What happens when your service provider says that your sexual orientation or gender identity are the cause of your mental health problems? Through the words of our passionate and courageous writers, learn how others found wellness and resilience through supportive and loving families, spirituality and knowledgeable service providers. Join us as we explore the relationships between sexual orientation, gender identity, mental health and substance use.

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