“Fundamentals of LGBT Substance Use Disorders: Multiple Identities, Multiple Challenges” by Michael Shelton— The LGBT Community and Drugs


Shelton, Michael. “Fundamentals of LGBT Substance Use Disorders: Multiple Identities, Multiple Challenges”, Harrington Park Press, 2016.

The LGBT Community and Drugs

Amos Lassen

In “Fundamentals of LGBT Substance Use Disorders: Multiple Identities, Multiple Challenges” “Michael Shelton looks at and reviews the empirical literature and synthesizes what we know about the prevalence of LGBT substance use, abuse, and treatment availability, emphasizing the need for affirmative therapeutic practices”. He explains and assesses the principles of trauma-informed and culturally competent treatment/intervention as well as the challenges of minority stress and microaggressions experienced by the LGBT population. In separate sections he focuses on the sub-populations of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, and transgender individuals and in separate chapters the focus is on LGBT youth, the elderly, family constellations and concerns, criminal justice issues, and rural LGBT substance abuse. This is an introduction to the field that will be useful both as a primary textbook and as a handbook/reference for LGBT-focused and general substance-use disorder clinics and their administrators, clinicians, trainees, allies and volunteers.

As a clinician, Shelton is deeply aware of the need to utilize current research, evidence-informed practices, and culturally fluid approaches. He wonderfully united his knowledge with his writing skills as a writer and presents his findings to his readers. There is a significant health issue that is tied to substance use in the LGBT community. This is another resource to assist in meeting the challenge.

We get an in-depth look at the best and evidence based practices. Two of the main issues here are minority stress and trauma, which are important to the understanding and the treatment of problematic substance use in sexual minorities.


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