Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Comfortably Numb No More: A New Memoir about One Woman's Fight with Addiction Speaks Volumes

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Comfortably Numb No More: A New Memoir about One Woman's Fight with Addiction Speaks Volumes

Article excerpt

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

DURING HER TEENAGE YEARS, Jennifer Storm Was raped, attempted suicide, became an alcoholic and a crack addict, and endured almost constant family drama. After entering rehab at 22 and rediscovering herself, both as a sober person and a lesbian, Storm, now 32, works as the executive director of the Victim/Witness Assistance Program in Dauphin County, Pa. In her plainspoken memoir, Blackout Girl, published in February by the famous Hazelden clinic, Storm describes what her life was like--and by analogy the addictions many gay and lesbian teenagers struggle with.

What prompted you to write Blackout Girl? Journaling has been a good healing method for me. The more years I got into sobriety, I wanted to tell my story in some way. It's time for a much larger dialogue--and not just in the gay community. I hope my book opens some of the doors to doing that.

Do gays and lesbians have unique experiences with addiction? In the gay community we don't talk enough about addiction, and it runs rampant [among us]. Recent studies estimate that 30% of all lesbians have a drinking problem. When you take any group that is historically oppressed, there's a stronger tendency to need ways to escape, especially if you're in a situation where you can't come out. An easy way to deal with that is to drink. It's an easy out. Plus a lot of the functions in the gay community revolve around alcohol. If you're a new person starting to enter the community, you go to the bars.

What is the biggest problem faced by gay youths? …

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