There is a myth that transgender people are more likely to use drugs, go to chemsex parties and use drugs to cope with their different gender identities. There is no relevant data to confirm that transgender people use more drugs than cisgender people. Transgender people who use drugs are more vulnerable and in some cases drug use allows them to cope with emotional pain, minority stress or discrimination associated with gender dysphoria.
In the transgender population, different types of addiction occur variably and may combine with other comorbidities more than in cisgender people who use drugs. Experimentation or drug use at a young age in the context of gender dysphoria should be addressed by an addictionologist with knowledge of transgender issues in a multidisciplinary team.
In practice, we often deal with medical complications related to drug use (intoxication, life saving, self-harm). Integrated interventions and a client-centered approach and case management are appropriate. Gradually, the practice takes a holistic approach to the client. The multifactorial model of addiction tends to be the theoretical basis. However, the bio-psycho-social model of addiction and the holistic approach to the client is most often the basis.
Addiction can be understood as a set of mechanisms in which the environment, internal states and traits of the individual interact together to form conscious and unconscious motivation to use a drug for pleasure, gratification or to avoid undesirable psychological states. If a transgender client uses drugs, he or she should be treated in the same way as other clients, but with respect for his or her gender identity and specific needs.
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