It is natural to have some concerns about what may happen if you ask for help.
You may worry that service providers and counselors will not respect or understand your circumstances, or will be ignorant about sexual orientation or gender identity issues.
Women, people of colour and other oppressed groups often face extra barriers in getting access to services.
Counsellors may make stereotypical assumptions about the relationship between your sexual orientation and substance use.
It may be hard to be "out" or totally open about your life when you are in counselling. You may be concerned about your privacy and whether others could "out" you.
You have a RIGHT to good quality counselling.
Some questions you can ask at your first meeting with a therapist of agency:
- Do you have any specialized programs for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsensual, transsexual, two-spirit, intersex and queer clients?
- Have you been trained in working with people in these communities?
Be assertive: You have the right to ask service providers whether they have experience working with our community or whether there is an "out" counsellor available.
Many people drink alcohol or use other drugs without encountering problems. However, alcohol and other drug use does involve RISKS and some people can end up drinking or using other drugs in ways that create problems for them. It is important to be AWARE of these risks so that you can avoid problems or make changes in your life.
Substance use is a problem when it interferes with:
- your health
- your job
- your studies
- your relationships
- your financial stability
- your safety
- the safety of others.
Not sure whether your substance use (or someone else's) is causing problems? Talk it over with someone you trust. Or call the numbers listed on this webpage.