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Study showing trans* addiction rates high


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This comes as no surprise to me. I was one such kid. My High School years really were "high" school years. That's where I learned to mix as many drugs as I could to try to get as high as possible. The results to my life were devastating. 


Somehow having miraculously survived long enough, I discovered Narcotics Anonymous by way of a drug rehab center. It saved my life.

We can never go back and undo the harm done to ourselves with drugs, but we CAN change our future and our outlook, one day at a time. I am clean today, and thanks to NA I'm set up to be clean again tomorrow.

How did I do it? One day at a time!


Lots of love,

A drug free Timber Wolf?

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Sadly, this will also serve as more ammunition for those bigots who latch onto (and, more often than not, distort) any statistic that appears to support their argument that transgender people are not worth being taken seriously.

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Interesting...but without the "meat and bones" of the study, it's hard to know the validity of the study.  It also gets a great bid "duh" from me.  Substitute "poor kids" and the rates are going to be similar.  Substitute child abuse victims and the rates are going to be similar.   I tend to interpret studies like this as "someone has got a masters thesis project to do" and they pick something trendyish that will get some publish time. 

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That is certainly a reasonable take on the issue Briana.  When it comes to studies they tend to look at specific "groups" and whenever we do that the chances are that being separated from the "norm" will color the results.  That doesn't mean that our community doesn't have a problem.  It does mean that having a problem isn't an issue we face alone.  In the rooms of AA i have often heard it is better to look at our similarities rather than our differences.  Unfortunately every group can isolate within itself.  Perhaps that's one of the issues we need to face.   When i go to a meeting, and most live meetings are cis gendered,  i'm just another addict (alcoholic).  Fortunately i've found the help there is for Everyone.  We have abused children of alcoholics, poor kids, rich spoiled ones(like me), farmers, doctors, cis and trans* folks.  Everyone is unique.  All might have a greater chance of addiction than "normal" folks.  Oh yes i see plenty of "normal" folks as well.   Addiction is an equal opportunity employer.  It will ruin the lives of anyone.  Unfortunately our community does seem to have a larger than normal rate of addiction.  Fortunately there is a chance for recovery rather than insanity, incarceration or death.





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@Briana  I tend to agree with your skepticism on this "study" and its depth.  As I read it there were some factors that were not associated to this that have been in other studies of the same subject and in one place their numbers here are a little too perfect.  The ratio of Trans* to cis gender students was 0.7% of the cis gender population which is too darn close to the Williams Institute numbers of 0.6% ratio nationwide. 

My suspicions on this study do not negate the fact that we do have a greater rate of stress for which chemical abuse can be attractive and I see this from the inside of our community very well.  Another recent study on rats that is now being carried on for human beings (the Rat Park Experiment) shows the importance of social inclusion being a huge factor, since just in my AA experience I hear about how loneliness and exclusion at all social degrees, from immediate family outward into schools, jobs, and then other wider social forums has been present in the lives of the people I meet.  Lets face it, lack of Trans* acceptance and inclusion as ourselves in those places does have an effect on us, and the false promises of chemical abuse do invite us in where people do not.


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I spent the first year and a half of my transition on alcohol, from beer to Everclear. I spent most of the time on the high end of the proof spectrum kissing Sailor Jerry and Captain Morgan, acting like a Wild Turkey, let's 151! Ev was so smooth and clean, taking me there as a lover so fast, just where I wanted to be.

About six months after starting HRT, I realized that was his deal. If I ever wanted an identity of my own I had to get my butt back in a chair at an AA meeting. This January I pick up MY six year medalion, not his. I had to start at step one and through my female eyes working all twelve steps dilligently seeing me through a new pair of pink framed glasses. Yes I was a party to all the old misdoings, but I had to fess up to my part and take responsibility. That was a quantum shift in my new gender role.

That is also how I got comfortable in my skin and able to enjoy my true authentic me.

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I don't think it takes a fancy study to see that the T* population has a huge incidence of substance abuse. Maybe I will expand on this, but just saw on the clock and it is time to get down the road to a meeting. Thanks Jimmy!

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3 hours ago, onaquest said:

I don't think it takes a fancy study to see that the T* population has a huge incidence of substance abuse. Maybe I will expand on this, but just saw on the clock and it is time to get down the road to a meeting. Thanks Jimmy!

Please do!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Ok, a little slow in responding, had other things to do. Wow, this is harder to expand on than I thought, but I guess the high incidence of suicide in the T realm can be linked to substance use. I also can't help but wonder how many suicides by OD were actually accidental, but ruled suicide. The one thing I can say with certainty after 31 years in and out of the rooms, I have used with many more like me than I have seen in meetings.

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I certainly understand this question ....."how many suicides by OD were actually accidental, but ruled suicide."  Especially with today' use of fentinol to strengthen the opioids overdose is terribly common.  I also have to wonder how many are ruled overdose when suicide was planned.  My wife and family would often say i was killing myself with drinking and i knew that to be true.  Getting the help and understanding of other addicts in the rooms of recovery has made it possible for me to enjoy life as i never did when i was using.

As far as studies go I doubt we even need them to know that folks who society pushes into the shadows often seek some solace in substances.





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Guest Rachel Gia

I have read of higher ratios in other articles but those were not to do with teens.

When I first starting speaking at AA meetings and in particular my 10 year cake which was to around 50 plus and mostly "straight" members I related to them how I found that smoking pot made the dysphoria more manageable and when I ran out it came back full on ( leaving out the detail of I I dealt with it ).

Alcohol came later and was in some ways more social at that time and being with people lessened the dysphoria as well.

Maybe futur articles might also give a figure as to how many Trans teens that are transitioning are still using drugs and alcohol and to what degree being true to your inner self might help deter Trans and other teens from taking the path of drugs and alcohol.

After I came out to my mother and brother my depression diminished and shortly after that found sobriety. Later I came out to my kids when they moved in with me.

There is no doubt that substances and being Transgender are linked for me but using and being closeted is where that link has its power.


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