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American Addiction Centers National Rehabs Directory

LGBTQ+ Friendly Drug and Alcohol Rehabs

Research shows that members of the LGBTQ+ community experience higher rates of substance misuse and substance use disorder (SUD) than people who identify as heterosexual.1, 2 Marginalized groups often face discrimination and stigma, which can create barriers to getting the help they need. If you are a member of the LGBTQ+ community struggling with substance misuse or SUD, you should know that specialized LGBTQ rehab programs are available. These programs can help you feel more comfortable during addiction treatment by fostering an affirming, inclusive, and supportive environment.1, 3

Addiction & the LGBTQ+ Community

The LGBTQ+ community includes diverse sexual orientations and gender identities, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, and beyond.

Research shows that substance use occurs more frequently within in LGBTQ+ community.2 People who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB) experience higher rates of substance use disorder (SUD), also known as addiction, compared to people who identify as heterosexual.1, 2

According to the 2021 and 2022 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health, approximately 33% of bisexual males, bisexual females, and gay males had a past-year SUD, while approximately 25% of lesbian females had a past-year SUD.2 In addition, compared to people who identify as heterosexual:2

  • Sexual minority adults were 3 times more likely to have used illicit drugs other than marijuana in the past year.
  • Sexual minority adults were 2 times as likely to have misused a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant in the past year (e.g., cocaine, methamphetamine, prescription stimulants).
  • Bisexual females were 3 times as likely to have had an opioid use disorder (OUD) in the past year.

Members of the LGBTQ+ community also more frequently experience co-occurring mental health disorders, such as anxiety and depression.1

Various factors contribute to substance misuse and SUD within the LGBTQ+ community. People in this population often face discrimination and stigma, which can increase stress, impact mental health, and influence how a person deals with tough situations. At the same time, structural discrimination and stigma can create additional barriers to resources and treatment.1

What Are LGBTQ+ Drug and Alcohol Rehab Programs?

LGBTQ drug rehab programs address the unique needs of members of this community in an affirming, inclusive, and supportive environment. LGBTQ treatment centers can help people in this population work through certain issues as a part of the recovery process, such as internalized homophobia and negative feelings about their gender identity or sexual orientation.4

What Are LGBTQ Addiction Treatment Settings?

Different treatment settings are available for substance misuse and substance use disorder (SUD), including detox, inpatient/residential treatment, and outpatient treatment.5 The appropriate setting, as well as the duration and intensity of treatment, depends on several factors, including:5  

  • Addiction severity.
  • What substances a patient has been using, how much, and for how long.
  • If a patient uses other substances.
  • If a patient has a co-occurring disorder (e.g., anxiety or depression).
  • A patient’s medical history (e.g., previous treatment experiences).

Treatment can vary but should be individualized and consider a patient’s substance use, as well as any medical, psychological, social, vocational, and legal problems they might be facing.3 Because co-occurring mental health disorders are common among those who identify as LGBTQ+, dual diagnosis treatment may be recommended to treat both disorders at the same time.4, 5 Dual diagnosis treatment is shown to be more effective compared to treatment that focuses on one diagnosis.6

LGBTQ Drug and Alcohol Detox

Detox can help patients more comfortably and safely undergo withdrawal from certain substances.5 Detox is not always necessary, but for some patients, it can be an important first step in becoming medically stable and can facilitate the transition to ongoing treatment.5 Inpatient detox may be advisable for patients who use certain substances that can cause dangerous or unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, such as alcohol, benzodiazepines, or opioids like heroin or oxycodone.7 Medication may be used to help manage or mitigate withdrawal symptoms.7

LGBTQ Inpatient Drug Rehab Programs

Inpatient rehab involves living at a rehab center for the duration of treatment and may take place in specialized treatment centers or hospitals.5 While treatment will vary, patients can expect to participate in different types of behavioral therapy and counseling, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and motivational interviewing (MI), which can help them make positive changes to their thoughts and behaviors.3 They may also receive medication as needed to help reduce cravings and prevent relapse.3

LGBTQ residential addiction treatment can be beneficial for many patients, as it removes them from their immediate environment and allows them to focus on recovery. It can be especially useful for patients with severe addictions or co-occurring disorders, as well as those without stable housing or supportive family or friends.5

The duration of LGBTQ inpatient drug rehab varies depending on a patient’s needs, however, these programs typically last anywhere from 30 days up to a year.5

LGBTQ Outpatient Drug Rehab Programs

Outpatient drug rehab programs involve patients living offsite, usually at home or in a type of sober living facility, and traveling to rehab on a regular schedule to receive treatment.5 LGBTQ outpatient drug rehab programs often offer treatment in the evening or on weekends so patients can continue to work and take care of other responsibilities.5

The type of care offered at outpatient programs can vary widely. Still, patients typically participate in different types of behavioral therapy and counseling, which may be less intense than inpatient rehab.5 Some outpatient treatment programs, such as partial hospitalization programs (PHPs) or intensive outpatient programs (IOPs), can involve a high level of support and intensity that resembles inpatient programs.5 These programs may require patients to attend treatment daily, while standard outpatient programs may only require attendance 1-3 times per week.5

Outpatient rehab can be beneficial for patients with less severe addictions, those who are willing to attend regular sessions, patients with supportive family, friends, and home environments, and those who have reliable transportation to get to and from treatment.5

LGBTQ Aftercare

Aftercare, also known as continuing care, is an important component of a comprehensive recovery plan.5 It is a type of ongoing care following the completion of a more intense treatment program. Aftercare is designed to support continued recovery and can also address a return to substance use.5

Aftercare can involve different types of programs or interventions, such as regular follow-up care with a counselor, participation in 12-step meetings like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA), or living in an LGBTQ sober living home, which is a supportive drug- and alcohol-free residence that helps patients transition back to their daily lives.5

Paying for LGBTQ+ Addiction Treatment

Paying for addiction treatment can feel daunting, but there are many ways to pay for treatment, including using insurance for rehab. If you have insurance, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) states that substance use disorder (SUD) and mental health treatment are essential benefits, and marketplace insurance plans must provide a similar level of coverage for these treatments as they do for other medical and surgical types of care.8 The extent of your coverage depends on your plan, so it’s advisable to check specific details with your insurance carrier.

If you don’t have insurance or if your plan doesn’t cover the entire amount, you might also consider other ways of paying for rehab without insurance, such as:

  • Inquiring about payment plans, grants, or scholarships.
  • Attending a rehab that offers a sliding scale based on income.
  • Researching free rehabs that might be state- or government-funded or offered by nonprofit organizations.
  • Using savings or credit cards.
  • Fundraising/crowdfunding.
  • Asking family or friends for help.

You can instantly verify your insurance by filling out our short form to determine if your plan is in-network at an American Addiction Centers (AAC) facility.

How to Find LGBTQ Substance Misuse Treatment

The first step in finding LGBTQ substance use treatment might be to discuss your situation with your doctor or a qualified mental health provider to receive an evaluation and referrals. You can call our confidential and free helpline at to speak to a caring admissions navigator about your rehab options or use our online directory to find LGBTQ addiction treatment near you. If you’re struggling, you should know that there is always hope. No matter how hard things seem, it’s never too late to get help.

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