Recovery is not something that has to be done alone, nor should it. It takes a shared effort from all of us to support recovery in our community. As we recognize National Recovery Month this September, we also reinforce the positive message that behavioral health is essential to our overall well-being. Treatment is effective. People can and do recover.
Mental health and substance use disorders are not a one-size-fits-all condition, nor do they impact everyone equally. Those who belong to the LGBTQIA+, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color), and other historically marginalized communities often face even greater challenges and hardships when it comes to accessing and receiving care. Barriers to care can include a higher stigma around underrepresented groups, lack of diversity among behavioral health providers, language barriers, and distrust in the health care system.
According to the 2021 National Survey on Drug Use and Health:
- American Indian or Alaska Native (AI/AN) (27.6%) or Multiracial people (25.9%) were more likely to have a substance use disorder (SUD) in the past year compared with Black/African American (17.2%), White (17.0%), Hispanic or Latino (15.7%), or Asian people (8.0%).
- The percentage of adults aged 18 or older in 2021 who attempted suicide in the past year was higher among Hispanic or Latinx adults.
- The percentage of people who needed substance use treatment in the past year was higher among AI/AN (28.7%) or Multiracial people (25.5%).
- Binge drinking among adults who identify as bisexual and gay men was higher compared to their straight or heterosexual counterparts.
- The prevalence of mental illness was highest among those who identify as lesbian, gay, and bisexual young adults aged 18 to 25 for both any mental illness and serious mental illness.
- Lesbian and bisexual identified adults were more likely to have attempted suicide compared to their straight or heterosexual counterparts.
- Transgender women have a higher likelihood of seeking treatment for substance use disorders compared to cisgender people.
According to a 2017 report from Mental Health America:
- Sexual minority populations are more than twice as likely as their non-LGBTQIA+ counterparts to have a mental health condition.
- Transgender youth are especially at risk for mental health conditions, particularly Depression and Anxiety.
- Those who identify as LGBTQIA+ are reporting they are reluctant to seek treatment in traditional clinical settings.
- People who identify as being two or more races (24.9%) are most likely to report any mental illness within the past year than any other race/ethnic group, followed by AI/AN (22.7%).
Throughout National Recovery Month, we will continue to educate our community around substance use treatment and mental health services. We also encourage everyone to get involved in the promotion of Recovery Month, whether it’s through participating in an awareness walk or workshops, posting on social media, or celebrating those who have taken steps in their own recovery journey!
If you or a loved one is struggling, we are here for you. Call us at 716-831-1800 to learn more.