Over the past several decades, statistics have shown and continual increase in the rates at which people have been developing addictions to alcohol, drugs, and even a number of harmful behaviors. In fact, virtually the entire demographic spectrum has been significantly impacted by this devastating disease to one extent or another. As part of the process of developing better and more effective methods of treating this disease, researchers have studied various aspects of the underlying processes involved with being an addict. One specific approach pertains to susceptibility to addiction; in other words, what are the factors that make one person more likely to develop or more vulnerable to developing an addiction?
Regarding addiction susceptibility, most have recently become aware that one of the demographics that’s especially vulnerable to addiction is the community of so-called “sexual minorities”, which is the sanitized way of referring to those who identify themselves as being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or gender queer, often referred to simply as the LGBT or LGBTQ community. Due to the LGBT community exhibiting rates of addiction that are higher than the national average, there’s been an increased need for addiction treatment programs that are tailored to the particular needs of this demographic subgroup. As such, it’s important for LGBT individuals to be able to find those programs.
How is an LGBT-Specific Addiction Treatment Program Beneficial?
In order to determine whether a treatment facility or program is equipped to accommodate the needs of LGBT individuals suffering from addiction, it’s important to understand some of the factors that make this demographic more vulnerable to addiction as well as some of their unique needs. Research indicates that LGBT individuals experience 200 percent more addiction than their heterosexual peers for a couple particular reasons. The most common reason is due to the experience of lifelong victimization, discrimination, and harassment at the hand of those heterosexual peers. Many individuals who could be considered sexual minorities use substance abuse as a way to cope with living in a society that doesn’t accept them and is sometimes even violent toward them. Another reason that LGBT individuals experience more addiction than the overall population is because, similar to the effects of being shamed by society, being discriminated against can cause feelings of self-hatred and shame that can trigger substance abuse problems.
The bottom line is that the vast majority of the LGBT community — especially those suffering from alcoholism and drug addiction — have major issues with self-esteem, self-concept, and self-image. With it being so common for LGBT individuals experiencing homophobic discrimination to begin internalizing homophobia toward themselves, counseling and psychotherapy are essential if these individuals have any hope of overcoming their self-hatred in order to live physically and psychologically healthy lives. However, simply participating in counseling may not be enough, which is why it’s important for LGBT addicts to enroll in a facility that offers specialized programming specifically for LGBT individuals and professionals who are experienced and trained in counseling members of the LGBT community. In particular, LGBT addicts in treatment will need to develop a positive self-concept while learning how to deal with homophobia and discrimination, becoming comfortable with their sexual identities, and addressing any anxiety issues or depression they may be experiencing.
Finding the Right Facility in the Right Place
There are several factors to consider when looking for the right LGBT program in which to receive addiction treatment. One such factor is location. Although it may take some homework — or the expertise of treatment-matching services like those offered by Addiction Information — one should cross-reference areas with active LGBT communities or liberal perspectives (i.e., San Francisco) with areas that are known for having very prominent recovery facilities and services (i.e., Southern Florida). Additionally, it’s important to consider the type of program one would prefer whether it’s an inpatient program, outpatient program, or something in between; moreover, the type of program is a factor that may have some influence on location as well. And while LGBT-specific programs can address the needs of LGBT individuals, many of these programs are further broken down into subgroups such as treatment programs for gay men or programs specifically for women who identify as lesbian. Finally, another factor to be considered is the types of treatments, therapies, and services a facility offers, which might include things like holistic treatments, experiential therapies, and so on.
We Can Match You to the Treatments That Best Address Your Needs
Finding the right program is a unique process for each individual who is embarking on the journey of recovery. With there being so many facilities offering such diverse programs, it’s a good idea to get free help from the experts at Recivery Hub. We can match anyone to the program that best addresses his or her needs. For a free consultation and assessment, call 888-220-4352. A better life is only a phone call away.