There is a greater awareness in society of gender and sexual orientation diversity. Advocates in the LGBT community are doing a commendable job of educating the public. However, persistent marginalization has not moved the numbers of those needing LGBT substance abuse treatment.
What Increases the Need for LGBT Substance Abuse Treatment?
Understanding that a person’s biological sex is not an automatic determination of gender identity is one thing. Accepting that person’s right to a sexual orientation that differs from societal norms is another. More work is necessary to begin having a positive impact on the rate of substance abuse among LGBT individuals.
Many issues affect high substance abuse rates among people who identify with the LGBT community. At the same time, they face high levels of stress from dealing with social prejudices from others who do not accept their differences.
This lack of acceptance can lead to discriminatory practices and laws. Such responses can affect where they live or work. Similarly, it can even impact the type of health care an LGBT person receives. Additionally, stigma and challenges from relatives and friends can create strong emotions such as:
Barriers they face include intolerance, stigma and open discrimination. As a result, these barriers increase the risk that they seek self-medication with alcohol and drugs. Even after they have found the strength to seek addiction treatment, they may face more discrimination. Both LGBT substance abuse programs and trauma informed addiction treatment can help to overcome many of these obstacles.
Most facilities have limited or no specialized services. During treatment, some LGBT individuals are reluctant to disclose their sexual orientation. They fear that treatment providers may become hostile. Consequently, LGBT substance abuse treatment programs are necessary to provide safe places to seek recovery.
Inclusive Issues for an LGBT Substance Abuse Treatment Program
The LGBT community has specific issues that need to be addressed in a substance abuse treatment program. To give some examples, rehab centers with an understanding of LGBT issues have genuine programs to target issues such as:
- Acceptance by relatives and friends
- Identity acceptance
- Mental health issues
- Coming out
- Alleviating risk-taking behaviors
- Establishing a supportive social network for recovery
LGBT-friendly treatment components are essential to improving successful outcomes. Otherwise, the chances of an LGBT person leaving treatment increases. They return to their addiction without dealing with underlying issues related to their use. Consequently, the risk for relapse and falling back into addiction is higher. Moreover, integrating an LGBT substance abuse treatment program into aftercare planning will help each individual to stay clean and build a new life in recovery.
Rehab Considerations for LGBT Substance Abuse Treatment
Limited treatment services cannot meet the unique needs of an LGBT person. It is critical to recognize and accept that effective treatment requires inclusion. With this in mind, specialized addiction treatment services make a huge difference.
Something as simple as ensuring the person is housed with their self-identified gender can impact results. For example, the awareness that lesbian women have needs that differ from those of gay men can determine the direction of their therapy plan. Specialized PTSD treatment or treatment for other traumas or mental health disorders is available when needed.
Long-term recovery should be the goal of any treatment program. Being bisexual or a young LGBT professional with an addiction deserves this consideration. In sum, finding the right LGBT substance abuse treatment center can help you find the path to lasting recovery.
Pillars Recovery Meets the Needs of the LGBT Community
An LGBT friendly rehab center recognizes the factors that affect recovery outcomes. Above all, these centers implement therapy plans that meet all of their patients’ needs. Pillars Recovery is one of those treatment centers.
Don’t use drugs or alcohol to hide from society. Call 866.782.0247 for a private conversation about your needs. We have compassionate treatment protocols to free you from the perils of addiction.