NCADA at Pridefest

PrideFest St. Louis is a lively, colorful celebration of the St. Louis LGBTQIA+ population. But the event isn’t just about a parade—it’s about fostering an understanding of and equality for the community. So why will NCADA, once again, be driving our (well-branded) truck down Market Street during the Pride parade?

While the general population sees a substance use rate of around 9%, the rate for the LGBTQIA+ population is in the range of 20-30%. Why the disparity? The answer is complex, but we do know that the risk of substance use is higher because of factors like discrimination, prejudice, and a culture of inequality. Members of a marginalized group may suffer from minority stress. This can be particularly hard on youth – many of whom are shunned by their families and lack positive support networks.

Some members of the LGBTQIA+ community may hesitate to seek treatment for substance use because of prior negative experiences associated with coming out. They may not feel comfortable being “out” with a counselor or provider, or speaking openly about their life. To address the unique needs of this community, NCADA will be promoting our supportive, caring, and inclusive services at PrideFest 2017.

NCADA will be staffing an informational booth throughout the festival. PrideFest 2017 will be held June 23–25 at Soldiers Memorial Park.

Nicole Browning is a Counselor at NCADA. This article first appeared in the 2017 Summer Key newsletter.

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