Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Gays and Abuse

Are gay people more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol, perhaps due to the discrimination they face? Anon.

Drug and alcohol abuse are so common in our society that I think it would be a mistake to state with certainty that one group or another suffers more from abuse for whatever reasons.

There have certainly been cases of conflicted, self-hating gay people who drink to excess or use drugs to deal -- or rather not deal -- with their denial, doubt and torment over their sexuality.

But we have to remember two things:

Straight people also abuse drugs and alcohol, and it's unlikely that conflicts over their sexuality are responsible [although aging and the sometimes corresponding loss of potency or attraction to the opposite sex may play a part]. Likewise, gay people may abuse drugs or alcohol for reasons that are entirely unrelated to their sexual orientation: romantic problems; career or financial issues; disappointments in life -- the usual things that plague most people, who -- as Thoreau put it -- lead "lives of quiet desperation."

In any case, I think it's safe to say that the well-adjusted, Out and Proud members of the Gay community are much less likely to abuse drugs and alcohol for reasons related to their sexuality.


Anonymous said...

hello Dr. Bill, i wanted to ask about my boyfriend we love each other so much we've been together for 3 years and then he met a friend thats not straight and they spend most of the time together. his friend goes to his house and my boyfriend isnt even bothered im really scared i dont know what to do should i ask him?

Bill Samuels said...

You might find my post entitled "Asking Your Boyfriend If He's Gay" helpful.