Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people have patterns of substance use and abuse that differ from the general population and also require treatment services tailored to their specific experiences, that is, "culturally competent" services for sexual minority populations. It is also important to keep in mind that there are significant subgroup variations within the LGBT category.

There are three main differences between LGBT people and others that contribute to differences in substance use and abuse: (1) LGBT people face lifelong harassment, discrimination, social rejections, and increased likelihood of interpersonal violence due to their natural sexual and gender preferences; (2) LGBT people deal with sexual orientation and gender identity issues that significantly complicate personal development; (3) LGBT people tend to congregate in social enclaves or form ...

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