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Episode #149

Trauma and substance use have a bidirectional relationship. According to my guest, Eric Sullivan, growing up gay is a form of complex trauma. The LGBTQ+ community faces a lot of factors that put them at risk for higher rates of problematic substance use. Today I’ll talk with Eric, a therapist and member of the LGBTQ+ community about what contributes to this risk, his professional and personal experiences.

According to a recent SAMHSA report (link below)

The report released covers adults aged 18 or older. Age adjusted findings include:

  • Lesbian and bisexual females were more likely than straight females to have engaged in binge drinking in the past month, and about twice as likely to have engaged in heavy drinking in the past month.
  • Gay and bisexual males and females were two to three times more likely than their straight counterparts to have used illicit drugs other than marijuana in the past year.
  • About one third of bisexual females, bisexual males, and gay males had a substance use disorder (SUD) in the past year. About one fourth of lesbian females had an SUD in the past year.
  • Bisexual females were three times more likely than straight females to have had an opioid use disorder in the past year.