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Drug Treatment For Gays And Lesbians

Drug and alcohol rehab for gays and lesbians is not much different from other 'Straight' treatment centers and programs. However, these facilities do vary in the sense that there would be heightened awareness among the rehab specialists about the diverse experiences and life stresses that individuals from this community undergo. To this end, there would be more acceptance of and sympathy for sexual orientation. With this in mind, alcohol and drug rehab for gays and lesbians focus on offering unique programs to meet the important needs and treat the unique challenges that lesbians and gays face.

In particular, it is important that gay and lesbian clients experience comfort in an addiction rehabilitation facility. They also should feel that they can be upfront about their unique experiences and begin healing without fearing discrimination and other repercussions from the staff working at the facility along with other participating clients.

Today, some people believe that lesbian and gay specific rehab facilities for addiction are the safest places for individuals from these communities to experience full recovery and rehabilitation. Others believe that rehab should occur at a program comprised of people of different orientations. The best solution, however, might be in a treatment center that is gay and lesbian sensitive and safe.

Understanding Drug Treatment For Gays And Lesbians

Today, alcohol and drug addiction services are becoming more specialized. Particularly, the design of treatment has been evolving especially after the many studies that indicate that the likelihood of success and recovery are heightened when the issues that certain demographics face are completely understood, validated, and dealt with as part and parcel of the rehabilitation process. As a direct result, alcohol and drug rehab for lesbians and gays is now considered crucial for providing rehabilitation services for LGBTQ+ individuals.

As a demographic, the LGBTQ+ community has generally had a number of health care concerns that were previously completely denied or overlooked. Thankfully, there have been strides in the past several years specifically with respect to substance drug abuse treatment.

In line with this, the best drug rehab for lesbians and gays should be one that is equipped with professional and compassionate clinicians and drug and alcohol 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 addiction - as a process and health state - works similarly for everyone despite sexual orientation, the LGBTQ+ community experienced some unique psychological and social challenges that could contribute to their drug addiction and even their chances of recovery and long term sobriety.

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

  • Mental health factors like suicide, anxiety, and depression
  • Self hatred
  • Shame
  • The party scene around bars and similar environments in which gays and lesbians tend to meet and where drugs and alcohol are usually 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 rehabilitation for lesbians and gays

Therefore, SAMHSA advocates that alcohol and drug rehab for gays and lesbians focuses on:

  • Many of the problems and issues (including discrimination) that might contribute to or exacerbate substance use among LGBTQ+ individuals
  • Special concurrent health care issues most lesbians and gays face
  • The specific types of addictive and intoxicating drugs often used by those in the LGBTQ+ community

Irregardless of your sexual preference, anyone who is suffering with addiction experiences a variety of factors that exacerbate to their problem. Although there are commonalities and certain considerations in the general population, individuals 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 present dependence and addiction.

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

  • Attempts to self-medicate for additional and underlying behavioral and mood disorders or even to quell the inwardly directed anger that the members of this community feels
  • Frequent engagement in substance abuse to quell the inner conflict and anguish most lesbians and gays grapple with as an escape from discrimination.
  • General disapproval and discrimination that limits the social outlets for LGBTQ+ to clubs and bars where there is heightened risk of abusing drugs and alcohol
  • Succumbing to peer pressure to take drugs and consume alcohol (particularly among LGBTQ+ youth and teens) so as to fit in with some social circles

What To Expect From Drug Treatment For Gays And Lesbians

No one deserves to experience shame, despair, or pain as a result of their sexual orientation. Enrolling into drug and alcohol treatment for drugs will ensure that you get to work with people who grasp most of the unique issues and problems you face as a LGBTQ+ person. This way, you will be provided with a supportive, safe, and like-minded environment that is non-judgmental.

Additionally, treatment for drugs can help you get through your challenges with alcohol and drug abuse by addressing a number of issues such as:

  • Being accepting
  • Alleviating all risk-taking behaviors
  • Anxiety, depression, and any other mental health issues being dealt with
  • Coming out
  • Coping with your emotions and feelings
  • Shedding any shame you might feel about you sexual preference
  • Establishing a safe social network that is away from and cut out from the club scene that might have caused your substance abuse in the first place
  • Self-love
  • The initial causes of your addiction

At the alcohol and drugs facility, you will navigate all these issues with the direction, assistance, and guidance of therapists and counselors educated to and experienced in dealing with all the sensitive issues that LGBTQ+ individuals face. Additionally, they may uncover all the initial causes of your substance use disorder(s) and drug and alcohol addiction and show how your current behavior and previous history has been fueling your alcohol/drug use. In the end, you will know how to be in control of all your current and future choices and get started on the road to full recovery.

Find Resources

If you are addicted to alcohol or drugs, it is imperative that you look for professional help as soon as you possibly can. However, you might not know where to start or the options that are open to you. Similarly, you may have little to no idea about the differences between the different treatment facilities and the programs they have in store for their patients.

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