NOW in recovery herself, Judith Schooling believes addiction problems are overlooked in the LGBT community.

But now, thanks to support from The Mungo Foundation and its South Glasgow Drug and Alcohol Recovery Hub, she has set up a dedicated support service for LGBT people.

The 41-year-old told The Evening Times: "Because of me being a big part of the LGBT community I know that drink and drug use is in the LGBT community is huge.

"I know that what I was suffering from, loneliness, agoraphobia, how scared to go out because of what people might think, scared just getting out there in public and that causes a lot of depression and anxiety, which leads to mental illness in the LGBT community and that is then linked to addiction.

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"Often alcohol or drug use is the way out for people and that is the wrong way out.

"They are a forgotten cause, they are forgotten people and I feel that there isn't that support for the LGBT community.

"I would say that alcoholism is a lot worse in this community."

Judith realised her drinking had gotten out of hand when blood tests showed elevated liver functions with the only explanation being excess alcohol.

She said she tried to play down how much drinking was affecting her but knew she was "kidding" herself.

Judith said: "Your body doesn't lie to you. You can convince yourself of a lot of things but your body doesn't go along with it."

Attending the Recovery Hub was, she said, "daunting" but a huge relief once she made it over the doorstep.

Her support worker, Agnes, has been there every step of the way.

Judith said: "I love Agnes to bits. I have a complete love and admiration for Agnes.

"She told me so many things when I met her, she said, 'You will have alcohol free days,' and I thought, 'You're not talking about me, that won't be me.'

"It all came true. She was a voice in my head, the anti-alcohol voice in my head.

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"She made me cut down gradually and I did it and I was amazed."

Now Judith says she wants to give back to thank The Mungo Foundation for the transforming effect it has had on her life.

One of the main reasons the Recovery Hub has been such a success for Judith is that she never felt judged.

A lack of judgement is also one of the reasons Judith has settled in Scotland, a place where she says she has never had to face transphobia.

She said: "I've travelled round the world, I've been to lots of places and I've been judged, I've been tackled for being trans, I've had transphobic remarks.

"It's one reason why I'm in Scotland because Scotland is such a diverse, LGBT-friendly environment and that's one reason I've come here.

"No one does judge me. No one says anything to me. I know that if anyone did say anything I've got support around me that would resolve that.

"I'm very big on having safe spaces to go. It's not just me who needs protected, it's other people too: single mothers, people without jobs.

"Anyone who comes in here will face no stigma; they are friends.

"I want the LGBT community to know that too."