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What to Do When Addiction Has Become a Coping Mechanism
September 2016 | Patricia Sarmiento, Public Health Corps
Recovering from addiction is hard and doing it as part of the LGBTQA community can be even harder. If your friends and family have not been supportive, you need to seek your own network. No one should have to recover from addiction alone.
In the LGBTQA community, addiction affects 20-30% of its members as opposed to the national average of 9%. The reason for this is primarily the social rejection and isolation associated with coming out. For people who may have been rejected by friends or family, drug abuse is a common way to cope. Drug abuse offers an escape from both the mental and real world effects of living as yourself. However, when drugs become your crutch, quitting becomes even harder. Here are a few ways you can begin to ease your way into recovery from addiction.
Activities like crocheting and knitting have the added benefit of being physically useful, adding to that sense of accomplishment. You can make gifts for loved ones or donations to those in need which in turn will fuel your self-image.
Sever Ties with Those Who Support Your Addiction
Recovering from addiction is hard and doing it as part of the LGBTQA community can be even harder. If your friends and family have not been supportive, you need to seek your own network. No one should have to recover from addiction alone. However, you should also work to take your recovery into your own hands. Find an outlet and set goals for yourself. If you don’t put effort into your own recovery, you are far less likely to experience life free from addiction. Recovery is possible, and support is out there. All you need to do is find it.
Reach out to local LGBTQA groups in your community to learn of other support groups and resources:
SAGE (Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders)
SAGENet (Local SAGE Affiliates across U.S.)
CenterLink (Professional Network of LGBTQA Community Centers)
GLMA (Gay & Lesbian Medical Association)
Patricia Sarmiento loves swimming and running. She channels her love of fitness and wellness into blogging about health and health-related topics. She played sports in high school and college and continues to make living an active lifestyle a goal for her and her family. She lives with her husband, two children, and their shih tzu in Maryland.
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