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Drug Treatment For Gays and Lesbians

Drug Treatment For Gays And Lesbians

Alcohol and Drug rehab for gays and lesbians is not all that different from other 'Straight' rehab programs and centers. However, these facilities do vary in the sense that there would be increased awareness among the treatment experts about the diverse experiences and everyday stresses that individuals from this community undergo. Due to this, there would be an increase in understanding of and sympathy for sexual orientation. With this in mind, drug rehab for lesbians and gays focus on offering tailored programs to meet the important needs and treat the specific challenges that lesbians and gays need to address.

In particular, it is crucial that gay and lesbian clients feel comfortable in a drug and alcohol addiction rehab environment. They also need to feel that they can be open about their personal challenges and start healing without being fearful of discrimination and other backlash from the staff working at the center as well as other participating clientele.

Today, some individuals grasp that lesbian and gay specific rehab facilities for drug addiction are the safest places for people from these communities to experience complete recovery and treatment. Others believe that rehab should take place at a program comprised of people of varying backgrounds. The most appropriate solution, however, might be in a rehabilitation facility that is gay and lesbian aware and safe.

Understanding Drug Treatment For Gays And Lesbians

Today, drug and alcohol addiction services are becoming more specialized. In particular, the design of treatment has evolved especially after the many studies that have concluded that the chances of success and recovery are heightened when the issues that certain individuals face are completely embraced, validated, and treated as an important aspect of the rehabilitation process. Because of this, alcohol and drug rehab for lesbians and gays is now thought of as crucial for providing rehabilitation services for LGBTQ+ individuals.

As a demographic, the LGBTQ+ community has generally had a variety of health care challenges that were previously flatly denied or overlooked. Thankfully, there have been advances in the past several years specifically with respect to drug and alcohol abuse rehabilitation.

In line with this, the best drug rehabilitation for gays and lesbians should be one that is staffed by trained and empathetic 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 drug and alcohol addiction - as a process and health state - works the same for everyone despite sexual orientation, the LGBTQ+ community experienced some different psychological and social issues that could exacerbate their addiction and even their chances of recovery and long term sobriety.

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

  • Mental health issues like suicide, anxiety, and depression
  • Self hatred
  • Shame
  • Partying around bars and happy events in which lesbians and gays tend to meet and where alcohol and drugs are usually available

Treatment Needs For The LGBTQ+ Community

According to SAMHSA (the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration), there are certain standardized types of care that should be used during drug and alcohol rehab for lesbians and gays

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

  • Some of the problems and issues (including discrimination) that might contribute to or worsen drug and alcohol use among LGBTQ+ people
  • Unique concurrent health care concerns most gays and lesbians face
  • The exact types of addictive and intoxicating substances often used by individuals in the LGBTQ+ community

Irregardless of your sexual orientation, anyone who is suffering with addiction experiences a variety of factors that exacerbate to their problem. Although there are common factors and certain considerations in the general population, individuals in the LGBTQ+ community tend to experience certain factors that in all likelihood play a role in causing them to turn into substance use disorders or exacerbate their already active dependence and addiction.

Some of these factors - which should be addressed through drug rehabilitation 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 lessen the inwardly directed anger that individuals of this community feels
  • Frequent engagement in substance abuse to numb the emotional and psychological conflict and pain most gays and lesbians grapple with as an escape from discrimination.
  • Public disapproval and discrimination that limits the social outlets for LGBTQ+ to clubs and bars where there is a higher risk of abusing drugs and alcohol
  • Giving into peer pressure to take drugs and drink 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

Nobody deserves to feel shame, despair, or pain as a result of their sexual preference. Enrolling into drug rehabilitation for drugs will ensure that you get to work with people who understand most of the specific challenges and problems you face as a LGBTQ+ person. This way, you will be provided with an understanding, safe, and like-minded environment that is free of judgment.

Additionally, rehab for drugs and alcohol can help you get through your challenges with alcohol and drug abuse by addressing 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 separate and cut out from the club scene that might have caused your addiction in the first place
  • Self-love
  • The initial causes of your substance use disorder and addiction

At the drugs and alcohol facility, you will navigate all these issues with the direction, help, and support of treatment specialists and counselors educated to and experienced in dealing with all the sensitive issues that LGBTQ+ individuals face. In addition, they may uncover all the root causes of your substance use disorder(s) and drug addiction and show how your behavior now and previous history has been fueling your drug/alcohol use. In the end, you will learn how to take over control of all your current and future moves in life and get started on a path to full recovery.

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