LGBTQ Drug and Alcohol Rehabs
Individuals on the LGBTQ spectrum face a number of unique challenges that contribute to a higher risk of mental health issues and substance use disorders.1 In fact, members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer communities struggle with drug and alcohol addiction at rates that are double that of the general population.,2
Thankfully, there are numerous LGBTQ-friendly substance abuse treatment centers across the U.S., offering services tailored to the unique needs of individuals in this demographic. These facilities have programs that meet the needs of the LGBTQ community and address unique factors that may have contributed to addiction, such as stigmatization, homophobia/transphobia, trauma, social isolation, family problems, and violence.3
What to Expect at LGBTQ Drug and Alcohol Rehab?
LGBTQ drug and alcohol rehab centers offer assistance designed specifically to address substance abuse challenges in the LGBTQ community. For instance, LGBTQ-friendly treatment can help gay and lesbian individuals to better cope with common stressors, such as homophobia, rejection, or discrimination without resorting to substance use.4 Likewise, individuals who identify as transgender can receive guidance on handling misgendering challenges without substance abuse.5
In order to provide compassionate, research-based help to gay, lesbian, and transgender individuals, the staff at treatment centers usually receives specialty training that equips them to better address the needs of LGBTQ patients. This may entail providing a judgment- and discrimination-free environment, as well as giving LGBTQ individuals a chance to undergo evidence-based treatment alongside peers who share their sexual orientation.4
Like most non-specialized treatment programs, LGBTQ drug and alcohol rehab often starts with medical detoxification, if needed. This is done in order to eliminate the substance from the patient’s body and make sure they go through withdrawal in a safe and controlled manner.6
Another similarity with more general treatments is that LGBTQ-specific facilities tend to offer both residential/inpatient and outpatient drug and alcohol rehab programs.7 Depending on the program, patients may be under professional supervision 24-hours receiving tailored care (inpatient) or come to the facility several times a week for intensive treatment (outpatient). LGBTQ rehab centers typically offer various forms of therapy, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and family therapy, medication management, and aftercare planning, all tailored based on the unique needs of the patient.7
Treatment Offered at LGBTQ Treatment Centers
Treatment geared towards the LGBTQ community can come in several forms, including:7
- Inpatient: LGBTQ inpatient alcohol and drug rehab is carefully designed to provide patients with a distraction-free environment where they can receive 24-hour medical and emotional support from qualified professionals.
- Outpatient: In this form of treatment, patients can receive high-quality care without having to reside at the facility. Outpatient LGBTQ rehab enables patients to maintain a more normal daily routine while providing them with intensive care several days a week.
- Telehealth: Individuals can also receive quality treatment from the comfort of their own homes via Telehealth addiction treatment. This may include online psychiatry sessions, therapy groups, and case management.8
Drugs of Choice Within the LGBTQ Community
According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) from 2018, sexual minority adults (gay, lesbian, or bisexual in this particular study) report elevated substance use patterns compared to heterosexual adults. In terms of specific substances, the data shows the following:9
- More than one third (33.4%) of sexual minority young adults between 18 and 25 years of age reported marijuana use compared to 22.1% of the general U.S. population.
- The percentage of 26+ sexual minority adults using methamphetamines is four times that of the general population (2.9% versus 0.7%).
- Opioid use (including misuse of heroin and prescription opioids) is much higher inLGB adults over the age of 18 (9% compared to 3.8% of the general population).
- About 64% of sexual minority adults usealcohol versus 55.3% of those in the general U.S. population.
Does LGBTQ Rehab Offer Treatment for Mental Health Issues?
The various challenges LGBTQ persons tend to face may increase the potential for co-occurring disorders. In fact, sexual minority individuals often also struggle with anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues.3 Because of this, many LGBTQ treatment centers offer dual diagnosis treatment programs designed to simultaneously address any mental health concerns alongside substance abuse.10
Co-occurring disorder treatment programs aim to aid gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer, and transgender individuals on their path to rehabilitation and recovery through comprehensive treatment and effective aftercare planning.10
Unsure where to start? Take Our Substance Abuse Self-Assessment
Take our free, 5-minute substance abuse self-assessment below if you think you or someone you love might be struggling with substance abuse. This evaluation consists of 11 yes or no questions that are designed to be used as an informational tool to assess the severity and probability of a substance use disorder. The test is free, confidential, and no personal information is needed to receive the result. Please be aware that this evaluation is not a substitute for advice from a medical doctor.
Why Choose LGBTQ Rehabs?
While conventional drug and alcohol rehab centers may offer quality treatment and resources, LGBTQ-geared programs offer a number of unique advantages, including:5
- Support from LGBTQ peers: Gay-friendly alcohol and drug rehab can provide you with an opportunity to connect with individuals who share many of the same life experiences as you. This may help you find more motivation to achieve lasting sobriety.
- Judgment-free environment: Unfortunately, some rehab centers still have underlying biases despite their good intentions. This is why it is important to find a facility that is completely judgment-free and tailored to the LGBTQ community.
- Transparency, honesty & confidentiality: At a specialized LGBTQ treatment center, you will be free to speak openly about your identity and substance use, without fear. All of the information you disclose will be confidential. This can be vital for individuals who might suffer negative consequences such as stigma because of their sexual identity and addiction.
- Counseling services for friends and family: Treatment geared towards the LGBTQ community may include counseling and therapy that helps you and your family deal with any issues related to your sexual orientation.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, drug and alcohol treatment should be carefully tailored to the needs of the individual in order to be effective for achieving long-term recovery.11 This is why LGBTQ-friendly treatment may be the best choice for sexual minority adults seeking alcohol or drug addiction help.
How to Find LGBTQ Drug & Alcohol Rehab Near Me?
LGBTQ individuals seeking treatment have a number of options to choose from, as nearly 18% of substance use treatment facilities in the U.S. offer some form of LGBTQ-specific care.12 Still, not all treatment centers offer the same level of quality, especially in terms of meeting the unique personal, psychological, and social challenges LGBTQ community members face.
American Addiction Centers offers carefully customized alcohol and drug addiction treatment programs to help LGBTQ persons cope with discrimination, social isolation, depression, guilt, or anxiety without resorting to substance use. Our staff can provide you with compassionate and judgment-free assistance and resources that can help you achieve recovery. In addition, we can check your insurance coverage and benefits right away if you call our LGBTQ alcohol & drug addiction treatment hotline. Speak with a substance abuse treatment admission navigator today.