Alcoholism in the Gay Community

The Scope of the Problem Relating to Alcoholism

Researchers use the term "alcohol problems" to refer to any type of condition caused by drinking which harms the drinker directly, jeopardizes the drinker's well-being, or places others at risk. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, nearly 14 million people in the United States-1 in every 13 adults-have alcohol problems, though most do not realize or acknowledge it. It is additionally estimated that 43% of U.S. adults (76 million people) have been exposed to alcoholism in the family--they have a parent/guardian, spouse or other family member who is or was an alcoholic or a problem drinker.

It is important to note that because you have an alcoholic in your family, does not mean that you will suffer from alcoholism. Also keep in mind that if you are alcoholic, you can recover. You might have to go to alcohol rehab or an inpatient alcohol treatment facility to detox, but recovery is certainly possible. Many people, both gay and straight, with alcohol problems have gotten sober and gone on to live happier and healthier lives.

Do Gay Men and Women Have More Problems With Alcohol Than Heterosexuals?

Studies from the 1970s and 1980s led many to the conclusion that rates of alcoholism were higher among GLBT population than in the overall population-sometimes citing rates of alcoholism in the GLBT community as 30%.

This high rate of alcoholism among the gay population is probably due to the challenges they face relating to prejudice, discrimination, judgemental attitudes, internalized homophobia and the shame incurred as a result of it all. In addition, all of the above may be reasons why there is a high rate of mental health issues among the gay community and when combined with addiction or alcoholism we term it dual diagnosis.

Health Problems Caused by Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

Exceeding the average daily limit of one or two drinks a day is associated with a broad range of health risks. Alcohol intoxication is the leading cause of traffic fatalities in the United States. Both men and women commonly report that they take greater sexual risks when they have been drinking, leading, in a worst case, to HIV infection.

The following is a partial list of other alcohol-related health problems:

    cirrhosis (permanent scarring) of the liver
    high blood pressure
    increased risk of throat, esophgus, liver, and breast cancer
    ulcers
    dementia
    sleep disturbances
    depression and other emotional problems


How Do I know if I suffer from Alcoholism

People with alcohol problems often answer "yes" to one or more of the following questions:

    Do you believe that in order to have fun you need to drink?
    Do you turn to alcohol to relieve uncomfortable feelings?
    Do you drink more to get the same effect that you used to?
    Do you drink alone?
    Have you had trouble at work or in school because of your drinking?
    Have you made promises to yourself or others that you'll stop drinking?
    Have your family or friends have complained about your drinking?
    Have you been late to or absent from work because of your drinking?
    Do you drink even when you don't want to?
    Has your doctor told you that you have health problems related to drinking?
    Have you tried to quit drinking?


How to Recover from Alcoholism

Some people with alcohol problems who are not physically addicted are able to quit or cut down without help. Very often though, people are going to require medical assistance referred to as alcohol rehab or an alcohol treatment program. A variety of alcohol treatments exist for alcohol dependence including self-help groups (like Alcoholics Anonymous-and there are GLBT AA groups), detox and inpatient rehabilitation.

If you chose to enter an alcohol treatment program, be sure that the alcohol rehab [http://lakeviewfreedomrings.com] is supportive of you as a gay, lesbian, bisexual and/or transgendered person. If you are struggling with homophobia or spending time educating those around you, you will not be able to focus on your recovery. There are addiction and alcohol treatment programs specifically for the gay population, and many "mainstream" drug rehabs, alcohol rehabs and alcohol treatment programs which are now gay friendly.

Jonathan Huttner is a principal in Lakeview Health Systems a drug rehab, which has a gay drug rehab component within the confines of its addiction treatment center. You can reach us at [http://www.lakeviewfreedomrings.com]

The Gay Community, Crystal Meth and Dual Diagnosis

Author Jonathan Huttner

As the use of crystal meth has spread across the country, it appears that one of the populations, particularly fond of this drug is the gay community. Research shows that the gay, lesbian and bisexual population have a much higher rate of crystal meth addiction than the "heterosexual world". While it is reported that the gay community leans toward the crystal meth high due to heightened sexual experiences, it could also be said that the gay population uses crystal meth to alleviate feelings of depression, lethargy or any other mental health issues caused by years of prejudice, discrimination or homophobia. All in all, the gay and lesbian population also have a higher incidence of dual diagnosis, than the general population.

Crystal Meth and Mental Health Issues

Many people already have mental health issues before they start using crystal meth. Depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and attention deficit disorder are not uncommon. There are two aspects to consider when talking about crystal meth's impact - the symptoms of mental health problems and the root causes of these problems.

Some people discover that crystal meth provides relief from some of their troubling symptoms. Maybe they feel less depressed or less anxious while they are high, for example. So in this way, many users would say crystal meth makes their mental health symptoms "better." This is often called "self-medicating." But this relief is only temporary. Often the symptoms can rebound even more strongly during or after the crash. So in this case, crystal meth makes the symptoms "worse." Also, for those with more serious mental health conditions (i.e. schizophrenia or psychosis), their symptoms actually get more severe when they get high on crystal meth.

Crystal methamphetamine is not a "cure" for dual diagnosis. It can't fix the root causes. In fact, using crystal meth regularly may only worsen the underlying issues or mask them completely. Regular crystal meth use can also interfere with your ability to take psychiatric medications as prescribed. And crystal meth can have harmful interactions with many psych meds as well. All of these issues simply complicate mental health conditions.

Crystal Meth and Perscription Medications

Crystal meth certainly interacts with plenty of psychiatric medications. Some of these interactions may be severe or even fatal. Therefore it is critical that you discuss your crystal meth addiction or crystal meth use with your health care provider so you can seek help in a drug rehab or addiction treatment program near you.

Crystal Meth and your Psychiatrist

Because being high, crashing, withdrawing can often look like lots of mental health symptoms, it is often hard to tell which is which. Most mental health providers need a "clean slate" so to speak in order to assess what's really going on with your symptoms. Are they simply being caused by drug use or is something else going on? They want to diagnose your condition accurately so they can treat you accurately.

In general, most providers will prefer you to be off crystal meth for at least 6-8 weeks before they can reliably assess and treat you. Each provider has different standards about this. Many are willing to provide support while you work at cutting down your crystal meth use. If you are still using, providers may hesitate to prescribe a mental health medication. The hesitation is about not wanting to risk setting you up for harmful interactions between prescribed drugs and methamphetamine.

Most mental health specialists understand that cutting down or staying off crystal meth can be very difficult. Because the issues connecting drug addiction and mental health are so complex, it is important to be honest about your drug use with your health care provider. In most cases, if you can not stop using crystal meth on your own, which most can not, admission into an inpatient addiction treatment program or drug rehab is best. Here, you can detox off the crystal meth in a safe and medically monitored setting. Detox from crystal meth addiction usually includes medication to help with mood swings, plenty of rest and good food. Your financial resources will usually determine the addiction treatment services you can access. You can call this national addiction treatment and drug rehab helpline at 1-800-511-9225, which will help you locate a drug rehab near you. If you are searching for a gay friendly drug rehab, go to

See How A Custom Mobile App Can Help Your Community Health Initiative Reach Out





Community health initiatives and not-for-profit businesses can take different forms. Some community health programs are center-based such as a counseling center for those grieving the death loss of a loved one whereas other community health programs are mobile. Whether community members seek your services at a set location or you help them achieve a heal-related goal at their convenience (e.g. a quit smoking hotline), community outreach initiatives can be bigger, better, and more effective after investing in a custom mobile app. Furthermore, positive buzz about your community health initiative can help open doors for free PR and increase referrals. Reach out to your community with a custom mobile app and let them know what your vision is, what your plan of action is, and what you have to offer.

Who are you and what do you do?

Many not-for-profit organizations are pressed for cash and might compromise the quality of services offered to stay afloat. More visibility can grant opportunities for free and meaningful advertising, such as a segment on the local news or feature article in a widely-read blog or magazine. It's difficult to change the world if no one knows you exist. A custom mobile app can help get your name and the story behind your community health initiative in the spotlight with some of the following features:

    Blog or podcast about your cause, current issues related to your initiative, and tips to help those who you are not currently associated with
    Success stories that illustrate the impact your health initiative has on individuals and the community at large
    Easy in-app cash donations and arrangements for non-cash donations on your wish list (e.g. volunteers to donate meals, volunteers to donate time, businesses to donate services, or new office supplies)
    Monthly updates about what you're doing that is new and why (e.g. adding bilingual service providers to your staff to better serve the community)

An overall increase in visibility beyond your mission statement can help community members know you're there to help. Similarly, increased visibility can help other community members connect with your cause and offer to make a monetary donation or volunteer their time.

Why a custom mobile app can help

Without visibility and meaningful differentiation from existing services, your not-for-profit might as well be a slowly failing business. A custom mobile app can give community members a chance to understand what you are all about and why they should become personally invented in your community health initiative. Let new and accessible mobile technology as a tool to make your community a better place.

A Custom Mobile App can help you're Not-for-Profit Business succeed with its may features. It will give the community a chance to see what you are all about and understand how they can help an in-app cash donation or a non-cash donation is great for people to volunteer their time to donating office supplies.

See How A Custom Mobile App Can Help Your Community Health Initiative Reach Out

Community health initiatives and not-for-profit businesses can take different forms. Some community health programs are center-based such as a counseling center for those grieving the death loss of a loved one whereas other community health programs are mobile. Whether community members seek your services at a set location or you help them achieve a heal-related goal at their convenience (e.g. a quit smoking hotline), community outreach initiatives can be bigger, better, and more effective after investing in a custom mobile app. Furthermore, positive buzz about your community health initiative can help open doors for free PR and increase referrals. Reach out to your community with a custom mobile app and let them know what your vision is, what your plan of action is, and what you have to offer.

Who are you and what do you do?

Many not-for-profit organizations are pressed for cash and might compromise the quality of services offered to stay afloat. More visibility can grant opportunities for free and meaningful advertising, such as a segment on the local news or feature article in a widely-read blog or magazine. It's difficult to change the world if no one knows you exist. A custom mobile app can help get your name and the story behind your community health initiative in the spotlight with some of the following features:

    Blog or podcast about your cause, current issues related to your initiative, and tips to help those who you are not currently associated with
    Success stories that illustrate the impact your health initiative has on individuals and the community at large
    Easy in-app cash donations and arrangements for non-cash donations on your wish list (e.g. volunteers to donate meals, volunteers to donate time, businesses to donate services, or new office supplies)
    Monthly updates about what you're doing that is new and why (e.g. adding bilingual service providers to your staff to better serve the community)

An overall increase in visibility beyond your mission statement can help community members know you're there to help. Similarly, increased visibility can help other community members connect with your cause and offer to make a monetary donation or volunteer their time.

Why a custom mobile app can help

Without visibility and meaningful differentiation from existing services, your not-for-profit might as well be a slowly failing business. A custom mobile app can give community members a chance to understand what you are all about and why they should become personally invented in your community health initiative. Let new and accessible mobile technology as a tool to make your community a better place.

A Custom Mobile App can help you're Not-for-Profit Business succeed with its may features. It will give the community a chance to see what you are all about and understand how they can help an in-app cash donation or a non-cash donation is great for people to volunteer their time to donating office supplies.