ANTIDOTE@London Friend is London's only targeted LGBT drug and alcohol service. It is funded by Big Lottery's Reaching Communities programme.
Based in London (Soho and Kings Cross) we are a service that falls under the umbrella of London Friend, serving the substance use needs of London's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities, pan-London.
There are a number of reasons why LGBT people need specialised care in regard to substance use; homophobia (internalised and societal); exclusion from family, social groups, religions and workplaces; trauma from homophobic bullying at school or difficult "Coming Out" experiences; other trauma such as illness or abuse as well as HIV issues, (real or stigmatised); social anxiety, intimacy anxiety, body-image pressures; lack of positive role models, peer pressures and a variety of other reasons.
Drug use has become somewhat normalised within the LGBT social, club and sex cultures, and many are taken by surprise to find themselves struggling with substance use; Antidote offers judgement-free advice and support from friendly staff who all identify as LGB or T, and who have a good understanding of the societal behaviours that are associated with recreational drug use.
Working from a harm-reduction perspective, we help our clients work toward their goals for substance use; we do not require abstinence of our clients (though many choose abstinence as a goal, and we work with those clients toward that objective)
We employ a range of therapies in our work, from telephone/online advice and support; structured one-to-one therapies (key-work and counselling); group work, drop in services, alternative and holistic therapies, referrals to detox, rehab and other community and health services.
Antidote is also engaged in community work and training, see related pages.