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Anti-LGBT Discrimination Drives Substance Abuse, Report Says

Anti-LGBT Discrimination Drives Substance Abuse, Report Says

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LGBT people may have a higher rate of substance abuse because they use drugs and alcohol to cope with discrimination, according to a new issue brief from the Center for American Progress.

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LGBT people may have a higher rate of substance abuse because they use drugs and alcohol to cope with discrimination, according to a new issue brief from the Center for American Progress, a Washington, D.C., think tank.

Noting that definitive figures are hard to come by, the center estimates that 20% to 30% of LGBT people are substance abusers, as opposed to 9% of the general population. A major contributor to the problem, it says, is "the stress that comes from daily battles with discrimination and stigma."

"In order to lower these rates, our health care system needs to better meet the needs of gay and transgender people, and our government needs to advance public policies that promote equality for this population," the brief continues. It recommends legislative steps such as passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and the Respect for Marriage Act, and urges the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to make moves to assure culturally appropriate treatment and prevention measures for LGBT people.

Read the full report here.

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Trudy Ring

Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.
Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.