Substance use is a long-standing challenge for the LGBT community. The Center for American Progress (CAP), a progressive non-partisan policy institute, estimates that between 20 and 30 percent of LGBT people regularly use alcohol/drugs, compared to 9 percent in the general population. According to CAP, stress that comes from daily battles with discrimination and stigma is a principle driver of these high rates. Judy Linscott, a Neptune-based therapist who works with the LGBT community, says that some in the community are affected by the treatment they receive from families, schools, communities, workplaces and relationships. For many, Linscott says, there is fear and threat of loss, harm or violence and the cloud of STD transmission. “This makes LGBTQ folks part of a more vulnerable population than straight folks who don’t experience the degree of daily stress, prejudice or feelings unique to a marginalized population,” she says.
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And for LGBTQ people faced with this kind of stress, alcohol or other drugs seem like the perfect escape. But, “places like the QSpot can provide information about where to get help and provide education for stress reduction and depression and other issues,” said Linscott. And among the services QSpot offers is an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. The meeting is known as S.O.S., which stands for “Sober on Sunday.” It meets at 12:00 every Sunday at the center. Although the meeting is geared toward LGBT people, any recovering person may attend. In addition to the meeting, QSpot provides information and referrals for substance abuse recovery. If you or anyone you know is in need of help, please call 732-455-3373 or email email@example.com.