Statistics show that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals are more likely to try drugs. Further, they have higher rates of substance abuse. Due to the fact that drug abuse is so common amongst the gay community, LGBT drug treatment programs are essential.

According to the Pride Institute, some drugs are more commonly used in the LGBT community than in the heterosexual world. For example, gay men have been shown to be more likely to use drugs including marijuana, stimulants, sedatives, cocaine and “party drugs.” Also crystal meth use has risen steadily amongst gay men in past years.

One reason that has been pinpointed for the use of party drugs like ecstasy, and GHB amongst gay men is their prevalence at circuit parties. Due to the fact that gay individuals can feel isolated from society, they often seek to belong to a group. This emotion, in part, motivates them to do drugs at these parties.

Statistics from the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment show that 20-25% of gay men and lesbians are heavy users of alcohol. This rate can be compared to 3%-10% of heterosexuals.

LGBT drug treatment programs focus on addressing the drugs that LGBT people are more likely to use. For example, often the issues include “poly-substance” abuse, which means abusing more than one drug in a short period of time. Drug users take part in this activity to heighten the impact of drugs.

LGBT drug treatment programs assist users to detoxify.  Once the detox process is over, counselors work with drug users in an individual setting, as well as in groups as well.  The process often continues with outpatient care, or sober living centers.

Those who enter LGBT drug treatment programs must learn to stop self-medicating and accept that they have a substance abuse problem.  This is an important first step in creating a long-term path of recovery.