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LGBTQ+ Resources

At Dedham Organization for Substance Awareness (DOSA), we are dedicated to addressing substance use and promoting health within our community. One of our critical focuses is on understanding and supporting LGBTQ+ youth who are at increased risk of substance misuse due to unique challenges they face.

LGBTQ+ youth encounter higher rates of substance use compared to their peers, often as a result of social stigma, discrimination, and lack of inclusive support systems. These factors contribute significantly to their vulnerability and emphasize the need for tailored interventions.


By fostering supportive environments, raising awareness, and advocating for inclusive policies, DOSA aims to reduce substance misuse and enhance the well-being of LGBTQ+ youth. It is imperative to recognize and address these specific needs to create safer and more supportive communities for all youth.

Engaging LGBTQ+ Youth and Creating Safe Spaces: How to be an Ally

LGBTQ + teens may be two times as likely to be bullied, excluded or assaulted at school.

And they’re nearly 40 percent less likely to have an adult in their family to whom they can turn. So it’s no surprise that they may be twice as likely to experiment with drugs and alcohol

Risks for LGBTQ+ Youth and Substance Use

Young people who identify as LGBTQ+ face unique challenges that can contribute to increased risk of substance use and abuse. Understanding these risk factors is crucial for providing effective support and intervention.


Risk Factors
  1. Family Rejection and Lack of Support: LGBTQ+ youth who experience rejection or lack of acceptance from their families are more likely to turn to substances as a coping mechanism. Family support is a significant protective factor against substance use.

  2. Bullying and Victimization: LGBTQ+ youth are disproportionately affected by bullying and harassment, both in school settings and within their communities. This constant stress and trauma can lead to higher rates of substance use as a way to cope with emotional pain.

  3. Mental Health Issues: LGBTQ+ youth are more likely to experience mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD due to societal stigma and discrimination. These conditions can increase the risk of self-medication through substance use.

  4. Peer Influence: LGBTQ+ youth may be more likely to socialize with peers who also use substances, increasing their exposure and normalization of drug and alcohol use.

  5. Lack of LGBTQ+ Affirming Spaces: Communities and institutions that are not LGBTQ+ affirming may further isolate youth, leading to feelings of alienation and increased substance use.

  6. Higher Rates of Homelessness: LGBTQ+ youth are disproportionately represented among homeless youth, which exposes them to further risks such as survival sex work and higher susceptibility to substance use.

Websites and Organizations for Help



The Trevor Project


The Trevor Project provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ+ youth through a confidential hotline, chat, and text messaging services. Also provides information & support to LGBTQ+ 
young people 24/7, all year round.

SAMHSA's National Helpline



SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) offers a free, confidential 24/7 treatment referral and information service for individuals and families facing mental health and/or substance use disorders.

Exploring LGBTQ+ Resources:

Pride365+ Podcast on Substance Use and Community Support

Tune in to the Pride365+ podcast from Optum, hosted by Dr. Dustin Nowaskie, a queer non-binary psychiatrist and founder of OutCare Health. This podcast delves into creating equitable, affirming, and supportive spaces for LGBTQ+ individuals and communities. Encouraging active listening, flexibility to change, and vulnerability, addressing important topics like substance use within the LGBTQ+ community.

Substance Use and the LGBTQ+ Community

Episode 4 – Substance Use: Final Transcript

Learn how to support LGBTQ+ young people through action.

Learn how to support LGBTQ+ young people through action. Familiarize yourself with key terms, opportunities for education, advocacy, and small ways to make a big impact in collaboration with The Trevor Project, a nonprofit dedicated to LGBTQ+ resources.

Click Here for the PDF: Allyship in Action - LGBTQ+ Key Terms

Resources About Diversity Among LGBTQ Young People

The Trevor Project - Resources on Diversity of LGBTQ+ Youth- Explore resources offered by The Trevor Project to better understand and support the intersections of LGBTQ+ and BIPOC identities among young people. Gain access to guides, educational articles, and informative pieces focusing on LGBTQ+ intersectionality.

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