LGBTQ teens struggle more with addiction, Daybreak is fighting to bring change

Substance use disorders, more commonly known as addiction, among teens is a public health crisis in Washington and the nation. Of the adolescent population those who identify as LBGTQ are disproportionately more likely to be affected by substance use disorders. According the 2016 Washington Healthy Youth Survey, adolescents who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual made up 1.4 percent of the population*, however they are three times more likely to abuse opiates, twice as likely to abuse prescription drugs, and over twice as likely to abuse drugs not including tobacco, alcohol, or marijuana. These statistics make it clear that LGBTQ youth need crucial health services to recover from substance use disorders.

Daybreak is doing a lot to help set the curve for serving LGBTQ youth. We’ve trained our staff in understanding the specific needs of the community to include that understanding in counseling and group therapy. Daybreak is also one of the few youth treatment organizations that serves transgender youth in the gender they identify with.

The core of Daybreak’s treatment philosophy has always been deep love. All Daybreak kids that are struggling with addiction and mental illness require stability, nutritious food, time to play, time to learn, lots of counseling and most of all relentless, unconditional love.

*The Washington Healthy Youth Survey provides no information regarding transgender youth.