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Inpatient Rehab for LGBT Individuals

Inpatient Rehab for LGBT IndividualsLesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals are a minority in the larger community, making inpatient rehab centers designed specifically for LGBT individuals are a minority among rehab centers. A study conducted in 2010 by the LGBT Constituent Committee and the LGBT Tristar found that among rehab centers nationwide only 7% cater specifically to LGBT individuals.

However LGBT-specific rehab centers do exist to serve the specific needs of LGBT individuals who suffer from addiction. In addition to this, the treatment community at large is becoming more sensitive to the specific needs of LGBT patients. This trend is being promoted officially by the U.S. government: in 2001 the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) issued a protocol for the treatment of LGBT individuals in drug rehab centers. Among many specific recommendations, the protocol recommended that “counselors, therapists, administrators and facility directors have increased awareness for LGBT clients.”

Addiction in the LGBT Community

Although homosexual identity is not a risk factor for substance abuse or addiction, many LGBT individuals are at increased risk for addiction due to other factors that may result from sexual orientation. LGBT persons are more likely to suffer discrimination, bullying in school and a sense of isolation, and all of these factors can contribute to depression and low self-esteem, which are risk factors for addiction.

Additionally, many gay communities center around bars or dance clubs that feature rave parties where club drugs such as ecstasy are common. This environmental proximity to alcohol and drug use is also a risk factor for addiction.

Studies regarding drug abuse and addiction in the LGBT community include the following:

  • A report issued by SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse indicates LGBT individuals have higher rates of substance abuse than the general population
  • According to the U.S. Department of Health and Social Services nearly 30% of LGBT individuals suffer from alcoholism
  • A study conducted by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center found that LGBT teenagers are 200% more likely to use drugs or alcohol than their heterosexual peers

If you think that LGBT individuals do not need specialized help, think again.

LGBT-Specific Treatment for Drug Addiction

Addiction is usually a maladaptive response to stress, pressure, depression or other psychological issues. Addiction is commonly accompanied by another issue or combination of issues known as co-occurring disorders.

LGBT individuals often suffer from psychological issues due to their minority status and sense of isolation, as well as intolerance and discrimination by mainstream society. Successful addiction treatment for LGBT individuals must address the issues that are unique to their experiences. Treatment in a setting that is designed for them specifically and is attended by others with similar experiences has many advantages. Counselors are experienced in treating co-occurring disorders as they relate specifically to the gay experience, and fellow patients will provide empathy and support. Patients can expect to find a comfortable, accepting and supportive environment in which they will feel free to discuss and address their situations openly. Not only can patients overcome their addictions, but they can also receive treatment for underlying issues as well. With specialized help, LGBT drug addicts can emerge happier, healthier and with more self-assurance than ever before.

Help Finding LGBT Drug Rehab

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