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Drug Treatment For Gays and Lesbians

Drug Treatment For Gays And Lesbians

Drug treatment for gays and lesbians is not all that different from other ‘straight' rehabilitation centers and programs. However, these programs are different in the sense that there would be increased awareness among the treatment experts about the unique experiences and life stresses that members of this community undergo. To this end, there would be an increase in acceptance of and sensitivity to sexual orientation. As such, drug treatment for gays and lesbians focus on providing specific programs to meet the main needs and address the unique challenges that lesbians and gays face.

In particular, it is important that lesbian and gay patients feel comfortable in an addiction treatment environment. They also need to feel that they can be open about their unique experiences and start healing without fearing discrimination and other repercussions from the staff working at the facility as well as other participating addicts.

Today, some people believe that lesbian and gay specific treatment centers for addiction as the safest places for people from these communities to find full recovery and treatment. Others believe that treatment should be at a facility comprised of people of different orientations. The best solution, however, might be in a rehab center that is gay and lesbian aware and safe.

Understanding Drug Treatment For Gays And Lesbians

Today, alcohol and drug addiction treatments are becoming more specialized. In particular, the design of treatment has been evolving especially after the many studies that indicate that the chances of success and recovery as heightened when the issues that certain demographics face are fully embraced, addressed, and dealt with as part and parcel of the rehabilitation process. As a direct result, drug treatment for gays and lesbians is now considered essential for providing rehabilitation services for LGBTQ+ people.

As a demographic, the LGBTQ+ community has traditionally had a variety of health care concerns that were previously flatly denied or overlooked. However, there have been strides in the past few decades particularly with respect to substance abuse treatment.

To this end, the best drug treatment for gays and lesbians should be one that is staffed by professional and compassionate clinicians and 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 addiction - as a process and condition - works the same for everyone regardless of their sexual orientation, the LGBTQ+ community faces some unique psychological and social issues that could contribute to 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
  • The party scene around bars and happy events in which gays and lesbians tend to meet and where alcohol and drugs are usually present

Treatment Needs For The LGBTQ+ Community

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

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

  • Some of the problems and issues (including discrimination) that might contribute to or worsen substance use among LGBTQ+ people
  • Special concurrent medical concerns most gays and lesbians face
  • The specific types of addictive and intoxicating substances commonly used by those in the LGBTQ+ community

Irrespective of your sexual orientation, anyone who is suffering with addiction experiences a variety of factors that contribute to their problem. Although there are commonalities and overlaps in the general population, people in the LGBTQ+ community tend to experience additional 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 have to be addressed through drug treatment for gays and lesbians - include but are not limited to:

  • Attempts to self-medicate for any accompanying and underlying behavioral and mood disorders or even to quell the inwardly directed anger that the members of this community feels
  • Frequent engagement in drug 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
  • Succumbing to peer pressure to take drugs and drink 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, despair, or pain as a result of their sexual orientation. Enrolling into drug treatment for gays and lesbians will ensure that you get to work with people who understand most of the unique issues and problems you face as an LGBTQ+ individual. This way, you will be provided with a supportive, safe, and open environment that is free of judgement.

Additionally, drug treatment for gays and lesbians can help you overcome your challenges with alcohol and drug abuse by addressing a variety of issues such as:

  • Accepting yourself
  • Alleviating all risk-taking behaviors
  • Anxiety, depression, and any other mental health problems you are dealing with
  • Coming out
  • Coping 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 party scene that might have caused your addiction in the first place
  • Self-love
  • The root causes of your substance use disorder and addiction

At the drug treatment for gays and lesbians facility, you will navigate all these issues with the help, assistance, and guidance of therapists and counselors trained to and experienced in dealing with all the sensitive issues that LGBTQ+ individuals face. Additionally, they may uncover all the root causes of your substance use disorder(s) and addiction and show how your current behavior and past history has been fueling your drug/alcohol taking. Ultimately, you will learn how to take over control of all your current and future choices and get started on the road to full recovery.

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