Addiction affects millions of Americans each year. Addiction impacts every aspect of a person’s life, from their physical and mental health to their social life and financial security. Everyone has their own journey with addiction. A variety of biological and environmental factors can lead someone into addiction, and most people need substance abuse treatment to fully recover from addiction and stay sober for life.
Certain life experiences or factors increase someone’s risk for developing a substance use disorder. Research suggests that people who identify as part of the LGBTQ+ population have a much higher rate of substance abuse and addiction than the general population. People in the LGBTQ+ population also struggle to find adequate, competent addiction treatment.
If you or someone you love belong to the LGBTQ+ community and need substance abuse treatment, you are not alone. The addiction community has made significant progress in understanding the unique treatment needs of LGBTQ+ people who need treatment. With new understanding, professionals have developed new programs to help them overcome their addiction and address the underlying issues that contributed to it.
While new treatment programs exist, it is important to choose a rehab center that will meet all your needs. Understanding the concerns of the LGBTQ+ community and the steps taken to address them can help you make the best choice for your substance abuse treatment.
Special Consideration in Addiction Treatment for the LGBTQ+ Community
People in the LGBTQ+ community have struggled in all areas of health care for the entire history of our country. Historically, people who identify as part of this community have suffered from a lack of access to basic health care. Even when they do have access to health care, they are more likely to encounter bias or judgment in a healthcare setting.
Only in the last decade has there been a shift in access and competence when it comes to treating members of the LGBTQ+ community. Now, there are substance abuse programs that are especially suited to serve the unique needs of this community. These programs are based on awareness of the issues that commonly contribute to substance abuse in this population.
Why is Substance Abuse More Common in the LGBTQ+ Community?
Members of the LGBTQ+ community are more likely to report having faced discrimination than the general population. Experiencing discrimination is thought to be a factor that contributes to developing substance abuse disorders. Common instances of discrimination against members of the LGBTQ+ community include:
- Exclusion from social groups and activities
- Physical abuse from family members
- Rejection by family or religious groups or peer groups
- Job loss or lack of advancement
- Loss of child custody
- Violence based on sexual orientation
- Emotional abuse or bullying
- Public shaming or humiliation
Research into substance abuse shows that people who have experienced discrimination are four times more likely to struggle with substance abuse than people who do not experience discrimination. The vast majority of members of the LGBTQ+ community report facing one or more incidents of discrimination or violence in their past.
Choosing Addiction Treatment for The LGBTQ+ Community
If you are a member of the LGBTQ+ community, it is important to seek substance abuse treatment at a center that offers care that is tailored to fit your needs. There are many factors to consider when making this important choice, including:
- What evidence-based treatments are offered?
- Which holistic therapies are used alongside the evidence-based treatments?
- Does the addiction treatment center have specific competence and training in treating the LGBTQ+ community? Specifically, are transgender people housed with the gender they identify with? How are the needs of bisexual people or LGBTQ+ youth addressed?
Rehab facilities should be clear about how they address important aspects of care for the LGBTQ+ community, including:
- Distrust of the medical community
- Variations in drug and alcohol abuse within the LGBTQ+ population
- Emotional and physical challenges unique to the LGBTQ+ community
- Mental health treatment for trauma and isolation experienced by members of this community
There is no one-size-fits-all treatment plan for everyone, even within the LGBTQ+ community. Addiction is the result of many factors, and people have unique needs, roles, and responsibilities to consider while getting the care they need.
Find Addiction Treatment That Meets Your Needs
If you or someone you love require competent, comprehensive substance abuse treatment, please reach out to the staff at Daylight Recovery Center. We offer a range of programs that are designed to empower people to recover from addiction and learn the skills to live their life without using drugs and alcohol.
At Daylight Recovery Center, we offer special addiction treatment options for members of the LGBTQ+ population. These programs are designed and run by professionals who have special awareness and training on how to best serve people in this community.
If you are ready for life-changing addiction treatment, we are here to help you. Call us today to get started.
References: Addiction Treatment for the LGBTQ+ Community