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Drug Treatment For Gays and Lesbians

Drug Treatment For Gays And Lesbians

Drug and alcohol rehabilitation for gays and lesbians is not very different from other ‘Straight' rehab programs and centers. However, these facilities are different in the sense that there would be increased awareness among the rehabilitation specialists about the diverse experiences and life stresses that members of this community experience. Due to this, there would be an increase in acceptance of and sympathy for sexual orientation. As such, drug treatment for lesbians and gays focus on providing unique programs to meet the main needs and address the specific challenges that lesbians and gays face.

In particular, it is important that gay and lesbian patients experience comfort in a drug addiction rehabilitation facility. They also need to feel that they can be open about their unique challenges and begin healing without being fearful of intolerance and other repercussions from the professionals working at the facility as well as other participating clients.

Currently, some individuals believe that lesbian and gay specific rehabilitation centers for addiction are the safest locations for individuals from these backgrounds to find full recovery and treatment. Other people believe that rehabilitation should occur at a facility made up of people of different orientations. The most appropriate solution, however, might be in a rehabilitation facility that is lesbian and gay sensitive and safe.

Understanding Drug Treatment For Gays And Lesbians

Today, drug and alcohol addiction services are becoming more specialized. Particularly, the composition of services has evolved especially as a result of the many studies that indicate that the likelihood of success and recovery are heightened when the issues that certain individuals face are completely embraced, validated, and treated as part and parcel of the rehab process. Because of this, drug and alcohol treatment for lesbians and gays is now thought of as crucial for providing treatment services for LGBTQ+ clients.

As a demographic, the LGBTQ+ community has generally had a variety of health care challenges that were previously completely denied or left unacknowledged. Thankfully, there have been strides in the past few decades particularly in regard to substance drug abuse rehab.

To this end, the best drug and alcohol treatment for gays and lesbians should be one that is staffed by trained and empathetic clinicians and drug addiction rehabilitation experts. In such an environment, sexual orientation, the importance of personal choices, and diversity will be respected. Therefore, clients will be better able to freely establish new emotional and social networks that could potentially support and improve their recovery.

Addiction Risk Factors For LGBTQ+ Individuals

Although drug and alcohol addiction - as a process and condition - works the same for everyone regardless of their sexual orientation, the LGBTQ+ community faces some different psychological and social issues that could exacerbate their drug and alcohol addiction and even their shot at recovery and long term sobriety.

Some of the potential factors include, but are not limited to:

  • Mental health issues like suicide, anxiety, and depression
  • Self hatred
  • Shame
  • Partying around clubs and similar environments in which lesbians and gays tend to congregate and where alcohol and drugs are typically present

Treatment Needs For The LGBTQ+ Community

According to SAMHSA (the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration), there are certain standardized forms of care that should be followed during drug treatment for lesbians and gays

Therefore, SAMHSA advocates that drug rehabilitation for gays and lesbians hones in on:

  • Many of the problems and issues (including discrimination) that might contribute to or worsen substance use among LGBTQ+ people
  • Unique concurrent medical issues most lesbians and gays face
  • The exact types of addictive and intoxicating drugs often used by those in the LGBTQ+ community

Irregardless of your sexual orientation, anyone who is struggling with addiction experiences a number of factors that contribute to their problem. Even though there are common factors and certain considerations in the general population, people in the LGBTQ+ community are inclined to experience certain factors that might play a role in causing them to develop substance use disorders or contribute to their already active dependence and addiction.

Examples of these factors - which should be addressed through drug rehabilitation for gays and lesbians - include but are not limited to:

  • Efforts to self-medicate for additional and unknown behavioral and mood disorders or even to quell the inwardly directed negative emotions that the members of this community experience
  • Frequent involvement in substance abuse to quell the emotional and psychological conflict and anguish most gays and lesbians experience as an escape from discrimination.
  • Public misunderstanding and discrimination that limits the social outlets for LGBTQ+ to clubs and bars where there is heightened risk of drug and alcohol abuse
  • Succumbing to peer pressure to take drugs and consume alcohol (particularly among LGBTQ+ youth and teens) so as to fit in with certain social circles

What To Expect From Drug Treatment For Gays And Lesbians

Nobody deserves to experience shame, anguish, or pain as a result of their sexual preference. Enrolling into drug rehabilitation for alcohol and drugs will ensure that you get to work with individuals who understand most of the specific issues and problems individuals face as an LGBTQ+ individual. This way, you will be provided with an understanding, safe, and open environment that is free of judgment.

In addition, rehab for drugs and alcohol can help you get through your challenges with substance abuse by handling a number of issues such as:

  • Accepting yourself
  • Alleviating all risk-taking behaviors
  • Anxiety, depression, and any other mental health issues being dealt with
  • Coming out
  • Dealing with your emotions and feelings
  • Eliminating any shame you might feel about you orientation
  • Establishing a safe social network that is away from and cut out from the party scene that might have caused your addiction in the first place
  • Self-love
  • The initial causes of your addiction

At the drugs and alcohol facility, you will navigate all these issues with the direction, help, and support of therapists and counselors trained to and experienced in handling all the sensitive issues that LGBTQ+ individuals face. In addition, they may uncover all the initial causes of your substance use disorder(s) and drug and alcohol addiction and show how your behavior now and past history has been exacerbating your alcohol/drug taking. Ultimately, you will learn how to be in control of all your current and future choices and get started on the road to full recovery.

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