Addiction Recovery for the LGBT Community

 

Members of the LGBT community are at higher risk of addiction because of the pressures they face in the form of discrimination and segregation. Such youth often turns to drugs and drink to counter the stress. According to SAMHSA, LGBT folk are likelier to abuse drugs and alcohol, they exhibit higher rates of disorders associated with substance abuse. Meth abuse is particularly high among LGBT youth. These individuals, who have to face isolation, suffer from emotional issues that can lead to mental health problems.

Education

De-addiction and regaining a healthy lifestyle is possible for LGBT people. The first step is that they be educated about how addiction leads to physical and mental health problems. They need to be able to recognize the symptoms and signs of addiction in themselves and others. They must know the steps to take in order to help an addict.

Reaching Out

It is important that counselors and therapists reach out to LGBT addicts without judging them or shaming them. A judgmental attitude drives such people to addictive behavior. LGBT folks are under pressure to keep their true personalities hidden so that they may conform to societal norms. That’s hard enough. A harsh approach in trying to help them quit addiction is only going to make matters worse. Addictions are a warped way to cope with their LGBT selves and give them an escape route to forget the pressures they are constantly subjected to.  

LGBT members can seek help at LGBTQI community centers, treatment centers, and group meetings specific to this community. These are some options to initiate the healing process. It is easier to find such options in urban areas. In order to give LGBT members in rural areas a chance to grow, it is important to have properly trained clinicians. If you belong to the LGBT community, you may want to research online for facilities and counselors who can help you get started with the addiction recovery process. The SAMHSA website (www.samhsa.gov) is a good resource for looking up treatment options for the LGBT community. Thee NALGAP (National Association of Gay and Lesbian Addiction Providers) website is another resource that can help you locate treatment alternatives that are best suited to your situation.

De-addiction service providers need to understand how an LGBT addict may be battling more than one addiction; stress and its role in addiction; treatment options based on gender; cultural issues; trauma arising from oppression and discrimination; medical issues; and should have contacts with other services such as support groups.

Addressing Trauma

Trauma is a major consideration with addiction, more so in cases related to the LGBT community. Treatment providers should have the right perspective on how trauma-related mental issues and physical behaviors must be tackled. Maintaining gender sensitivity throughout the treatment process is important.

Compulsive sexual behavior and an addiction to sex is an issue within the LGBT community. Members see sex as a means of expressing themselves and often go overboard. Within the LGBT community, there is a clear link between meth abuse and sex addiction. Counselors need to first assess if the subject is actually addicted to sex, and if he is, is he ready for a diagnosis or should it be pushed back to be brought up later?

Hired Power can help you get the help you need and deserve. It is possible. You need to have clarity on the best approach to help you get rid of your addictions and come to terms with your LGBT personality. Call us at 800-910-9299.