The LGBT community is one of the most discriminated against populations in the US. It’s no surprise LGBT individuals – lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender – are more likely than the general population to abuse drugs or alcohol. Even when treatment is offered, they tend to avoid it – usually out of fear of being treated the same way they are in their daily lives.
Traditional treatment programs place a high emphasis on the privacy, safety, and happiness of their clients: no discrimination whatsoever. It can’t always work, though. When patients are uncomfortable in their environment, they can’t make progress. It’s actually counterproductive.
Fortunately, there are several specialized forms of treatment that work very well.
It’s easier for most people – not just LGBT’s – to open up about personal issues when no one besides the therapist is around. It’s a pretty much a guarantee: the counselor won’t judge you, ridicule you, or harass you. Keep in mind, though, that there are considerable advantages to group therapy settings as well.
Talking with peers who understand your territory is a great way to expand your mind. With so many LGBT issues, controversies, and advancements coming to light in recent years, there are lots of LGBT-focused support groups out there. Most major cities have several.
If you don’t want to travel, or you’d like to retain your anonymity, just look online. The websites, forums, and organizations are endless.
Some inpatient treatment facilities are beginning to offer programs specifically for the LGBT. These clinics separate their clients into different groups according to gender or assumed gender. This helps assure everyone a comforting environment.
So far, only a handful of treatment centers offer LGBT-specialized treatment. Your best bet, of course, is to look in cities with large LGBT populations.
The LGBT community faces a number of barriers: fear of ridicule, financial difficulties, perceived stigma, troubled family relationships. Nearly all addicts face these struggles in some way or another; LGBTs are simply at a greater risk.
Many have trouble establish support networks, which could be the reason so many return to treatment. After completing rehab, all addicts, LGBT or not, should continue with aftercare of some sort – preferably a blend of group meetings and therapy sessions. Sponsors are great for providing support whenever you need it, and psychologists can help you improve your behaviors and outlooks and, hence, your relationships with friends, family, and peers.
Feelings of discrimination, worthlessness, and non-belonging fuel drug addiction. Addiction fuels all those feelings. Break the cycle, get help: 800-910-9299
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