While most lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people do not experience substance dependence, some LGBTQ people can experience significant harms related to alcohol or drug use. When it comes to seeking support for issues associated with alcohol and drug use, partners, friends and family members play a key role in helping LGBTQ individuals.
In partnership with NSW Health, ACON —Australia's leading community-based organisation specialising in HIV and LGBTQ health— has recently redeveloped
'Partners, Friends and Family: A resource to support LGBTQ people affected by drug or alcohol use' (PDF). This important communication tool has been written by and for LGBTQ people and provides information, practical tips and advice for supporting or caring for someone affected by alcohol and other drugs.
Peer networks and chosen families are an incredibly important support system for LGBTQ people, as some people may not have strong relationships with their biological families. In recognising this, ACON has redeveloped their Partners, Friends and Family resource, with additional information published on ACON's
Pivot Point website.
"LGBTQ communities have always demonstrated an impressive capacity to care for each other" - ACON CEO Nicolas Parkhill
Partners, Friends and Family aims to upskill LGBTQ friendship and peer networks to provide appropriate care for their loved ones experiencing alcohol and drug related issues. The resource provides practical information on how to be an effective support person and important advice on how to exercise self-care.
ACON CEO Nicolas Parkhill says, "LGBTQ communities face a range of specific challenges in relation to substance use and identifying when use becomes problematic.
"LGBTQ communities have always demonstrated an impressive capacity to care for each other. The Partner's Friends and Family resource recognises and encourages this culture of care among LGBTQ people.
"We acknowledge the support of the NSW Ministry of Health in the development of the resource."
In addition to this resource, ACON has developed the
LGBTIQ Inclusive Guidelines for (AOD) Treatment Providers (PDF) for health professionals in an alcohol and other drug treatment setting.
For free and confidential advice 24/7 call Family Drug Support on
1300 368 186 or Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS) on 1800 250 015. Counsellors are available to provide information, referrals, crisis counselling and support. Or start a
Web Chat with an ADIS counsellor online Monday to Friday, 8.30am – 5pm. ADIS can also provide up-to-date information about service availability in your area during the COVID-19 pandemic.