Drug and alcohol addiction treatment is becoming increasingly specialized. Treatment designs have been evolving as a result of numerous studies indicating that recovery success is promoted when issues that distinct demographic groups might face are specifically embraced and addressed as part of the rehabilitation efforts. One such group to benefit from targeted clinical practices is that of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals (LGBT).
As a group, the LGBT community has historically had many health care needs overlooked or flatly denied. Strides have been made in the last few decades, however – substance abuse treatment, as a part of evolving medical care, has been no exception.
If you or someone you love is in need of a addiction treatment for LGBT individuals center call our 24-hour hotline toll-free at 1-888-744-0069 . Our gay addiction treatment center professionals specialize in finding the best possible addiction treatment center to fit your individual needs. All calls are confidential.
A quality gay addiction treatment center is staffed by compassionate and professional clinicians. Effective treatment for the gay and lesbian community takes place in an environment where diversity, sexual orientation and one’s personal choices are respected, where a person can establish new social and emotional networks that are capable of supporting their recovery.
Lesbian and Gay Addiction Treatment Needs
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has been proactive in outlining standard of care for addiction treatment centers for the LGBT community. A free publication, titled A Provider’s Introduction to Substance Abuse Treatment for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Individuals is available to download from their website.
The guide contains educational materials to inform and prepare the addiction treatment clinicians and program administrators to meet the needs of those in the gay community in need of substance abuse treatment. At more than 200 pages, the guide provides a wealth of information to anyone: including epidemiologic data about the specific types of drugs that are being used, special concurrent medical concerns that the LGBT community faces as well as some of the issues and discrimination that might contribute or worsen substance abuse in the LGBT population (including gay youth and teens) to begin with.
Facts About Addiction Treatment for LBGT Individuals
As with anyone suffering from substance abuse, there are many factors that contribute to the problem. While there is obviously much overlap and commonalities with the general population, there are added factors that play a role in the development of substance abuse in LGBT people. Some of these distinctions include:
- Discrimination/public disapproval that, in some places, limits social outlets for LGBT people to bars and clubs – potentially places of heightened alcohol and drug use.
- Potential frequent engagement in substance use and abuse to mute the emotional pain / conflict felt in the face of a discriminating general population.
- Attempts to “self-medicate” for underlying and accompanying mood or behavioral disorders, or simply to quell inward directed anger.
- For some LGBT youth, succumbing to the peer pressures of drinking and drug taking is enhanced by a desire to “fit in” with social circles.
Benefits of Choosing a Gay-Friendly Treatment Center
Patients in treatment bring a host of unique personal factors with them. It should always be expected that counselors and addiction treatment professionals understand and respect these and further, incorporate specifically tailored treatment techniques based on some of these distinctions. Addiction treatment centers that make specific efforts in accommodating an LGBT population guarantee the understanding, respect and careful attention that will be required to promote recovery.
Counseling to address many of the painful issues that one may have experienced or is still experiencing can help to alleviate some of the exacerbating factors contributing to substance abuse. Specific health concerns of an LGBT population can also be tended to throughout the duration of treatment at a facility specializing in gay addiction treatment.
Many substance abuse rehabs incorporate some level of “LGBT” sensitivity into their treatment design. Still, some have made much more effort than others, and have transcended a level of “LGBT tolerance” to actual “LGBT sensitive treatment” or “LGBT affirming treatment”. In the latter, the program is specifically targeted to gay substance abusers. There are a number of benefits in choosing one of these specialized addiction treatment center for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning (GLBTQ) community.
Patients will receive targeted treatment for their drug or alcohol addiction with comprehensive assessments from licensed clinicians who are sensitive to the impact of heterosexism and homophobia. Patients will also receive effective therapies and education in a safe and affirming environment with a treatment focused on acceptance, integration, risk taking behaviors and coming out. It is not until a patient in a gay addiction treatment center learns healthy ways of coping with their addiction that they can experience any chance of long-term recovery.
Making the Transition to Aftercare and Staying Sober
After a patient completes an addiction treatment program in a gay and lesbian addiction treatment center they may be asked to participate in a part of the program that gradually reintroduces them into real world situations. Evaluation of social supports and living arrangements will be an integral part of discharge planning, as release into a hostile environment could be devastating to recovery goals.
Similarly, best efforts should be made for LGBT sensitive aftercare plans and continued recovery support groups after leaving the treatment center. By conquering these challenges inside a gay-friendly addiction treatment center, the patient has a greater chance of effectively dealing with their feelings and avoiding addictive behavior.
Don’t hesitate to call our 24-hour helpline. We can help you locate a gay addiction treatment center that will respect your individual needs and point you in the direction of recovery. Call us now toll-free at 1-888-744-0069 to place a confidential call.