The LGBTQIA+ community experiences more discrimination, social stigma, and a lack of support from family members and society than other people. These factors, combined with common co-occurring disorders such as clinical depression, stress, and anxiety which are experienced at higher levels by the LGBTQIA+ community, can increase substance use.
Statistics show that LGBTQIA+ adults are more than twice as likely to use illicit drugs and almost twice as likely to have a substance abuse disorder. Health care discrimination can be another factor in addiction for those who are LGBTQIA+. Health care discrimination experienced by queer community members is part of our “why” in forming M-Care, serving the community, and providing a safe and affirming option for primary and gender-affirming care in the Wichita metro.
According to an article by the Wichita Beacon, the number of Kansans dying from opioid misuse or overdose is increasing. Fentanyl is becoming a new public health crisis because people are not only abusing fentanyl but other drugs are laced with the powerful, deadly drug. Fentanyl and opioid deaths have increased sharply between 2010 and 2019.
Alcohol use disorder is also a problem with 14.5 million people ages 12 and older. Alcohol use also contributes to overdose deaths as an estimated 22.1 percent of overdoses are related to alcohol and prescription opioids. Annually, 95,000 people in the United States die from alcohol-related causes.
Two major signs of addiction include when substance use harms a person, or when it harms their relationships. Secondly, it is clinically considered addiction when a person is unable to stop using the substance despite the harm it is causing, and despite attempts to quit. No matter where someone is in their addiction, there is hope. Reach out for help. Speak to your primary care provider, or schedule a visit with our kind and affirming team to discuss your options.
In Sedgwick County, there are many local resources including more than a dozen treatment facilities. Some of these programs require insurance, but several do serve uninsured patients. In addition to treatment facilities, there are support groups available across the state, you can visit supportgroupsinkansas.org for a list of groups to find one near you.
COMCARE in Sedgwick County also offers addiction treatment services to those 18 and older. You can find more information about that program here.
If you are struggling with substance abuse, talk to your healthcare provider, including the team at M-Care. Contact us to make an appointment to discuss your options.