The Availability of Sexual and Gender Minority (SGM) Specific Substance Use Services

Chonghui Ji, Bryan Cochran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: In 2007, Cochran, Peavy, and Robohm conducted a study of treatment programs that indicated that they provided specialized services for gay and lesbian clients; however, phone calls to these agencies revealed that over 90% of these agencies actually did not provide services that were discernibly different from the agencies’ general services. Objectives: Given the progress and development since 2007 regarding awareness of SGM (sexual and gender minority) rights and an increased understanding of the impact of health disparities on SGM individuals, the current study aimed to gain a renewed understanding of the state of SGM-specific substance treatment using a similar methodology. Results: agencies reporting that they provide SGMTitle specific services since 2007, fewer than 1 in 5 agencies who indicated offering SGM-specific treatment on the National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSAT S) survey actually provided such services (17.4%) in 2021. Conclusions/Importance: The current study reinforces the already observed need for specialized substance treatment services for the SGM population. Despite having hundreds more SGM-specific substance treatment services in existence today compared to 2007, our findings point to a strong need to address the discrepancies between self-reported and existing availabilities of SGM-specific services in substance treatment. Actions that can potentially close this gap might be two-fold: standardizing the definition of and criteria for SGM-specific services and increasing funding and resources that could expand the availability of such services, particularly in rural regions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2126-2133
Number of pages8
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Issue number14
StatePublished - 2022


  • SGM specific treatment
  • initial contact
  • sexual and gender minority (SGM)
  • substance misuse
  • substance use


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