Every so often, people in long term recovery who also identify as members of the LGBTQ+ community are said to feel like outsiders of the outsiders. As a person in recovery who identifies as LGBTQ+, the stigma we experience seems to be almost doubled with regards to our lifestyle, Substance Use and Mental Health. This is a good moment to mention that I am in no way a voice for the entire LGBTQ+ community. I have, however, heard other individuals mention that they don’t always feel welcomed to speak up about their particular struggles and how they may differ from other people in recovery in a room full of seemingly heteronormative people.
“Data from the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), suggests that substance use patterns reported by sexual minority adults (in this survey, sexual minority adults includes individuals who describe themselves as lesbian, gay, or bisexual) are higher compared to those reported by heterosexual adults. More than a third (37.6 percent) of sexual minority adults 18 and older reported past year marijuana use, compared to 16.2% reported by the overall adult population.”
It is important for us all to feel like we belong somewhere in the world and that we are accepted by others and have people we can relate to. A huge part of recovery from Substance Use and Mental Health is connection. The relationship between people who have feelings or situations in common is a bond that those who are fortunate to experience have utilized as a tool for personal growth.
Below I have listed some great resources if you identify as a member of the LGBTQ+ community and are looking for something to enhance or begin your person recovery journey.
THRIVE Recovery Centers offer a LGBTQ+ in Recovery meeting every Thursday from 6pm-7pm, virtually which can be accessed here
Realization Center, located in NYC, offers an outpatient treatment program, named The Dignity program that is personalized to services needed for the LGBT community. Their contact information is (212)627-9600 and they are available 24 hours a day, every day.
The Center, also located in NYC offers virtual programming for the LGBTQ+ community. Their mission, the empower LGBT people, building strong community. They can be contacted Monday-Friday 9am-10pm @ 212 620 7310
Both the fellowships of NA and AA offer LGBTQ+ meetings in person and virtually and the meeting information can accessed at:
I want to end by making note that no matter how you identify, no matter what your personal struggle may be, YOU MATTER. Your voice matters, your story matters and your recovery matters. Thank you for being a significant part of my story and of countless others just by being true to you.
Alexis Jinks, BS, CASAC-T, CRPA
Sherpa Program Manager, Nassau