Each year thousands of gay and lesbian individuals develop an addiction to alcohol. Sadly, only a small percentage of these men and women seek out professional help from an alcohol treatment program. As a result, these individuals often fall deep into the cycle of addiction. According to the 2015 National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 15.1 million adults ages 18 and older have Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD). AUD is defined as problem drinking that becomes severe in nature.
LGBT alcohol treatment programs do not have to treat gay and lesbian patients exclusively. Rather, a LGBT alcohol program is any program that understands the needs of the gay community. Treatment should be supportive and sympathetic to the needs of the patients. In order to provide the appropriate level of care, counselors need to be well-versed in LGBT addiction issues. The environment needs to be a safe and productive one so each patient can make the most of their time in treatment.
Obstacles to LGBT Alcohol Addiction Treatment
There are several obstacles unique to the LGBT community that may keep individuals from receiving the proper care for their alcohol addiction. Some potential obstacles include:
- A lack of understanding. Mainstream addiction treatment programs have good intentions, butthey may not fully understand the issues and root causes behind GLBT alcohol addiction. Some counselors may not be well-versed in the issues of depression and anxiety that often plagues members of the gay community. These specific challengescan lead to alcohol addiction.
- An uncomfortable setting. Some treatment facilities may not provide adequate safety for gay and lesbian patients. There must always be a policy in place to protect the rights of GLBT individuals against hate crimes or other hostile and discriminatory acts inside the facility.
- Geographic location. The best treatment programs for recovering alcoholics in the GLBT community can generally be found in large metropolitan areas. Small towns and rural areas will likely not provide the level of care sought after by gay men and women in need of alcohol treatment.
The Elements of LGBT Treatment
There are three core elements involved in LGBT alcohol treatment: detox, counseling and aftercare.
The first — and often most challenging—step towards recovery is detox.
The detox stage is when the body recovers from alcohol abuse. This time also helps the individual overcome their physical addiction to alcohol. During detox, each person needs professional medical attention and care. Some individuals may require more care than others during this time. It is for this reason we at Michael’s House believe wholeheartedly in giving each individual the highest quality treatment available. We offer caring and compassionate alcohol treatment for all patients and take pride in exceeding your expectations.
Michael’s House understands the unique nature of LGBT alcohol addiction. If you have any questions, please contact Michael’s House today by calling 760-548-4032. Take this important step in your recovery.
 Newport, Frank.“ Americans Greatly Overestimate Percent Gay, Lesbian in U.S.” Gallup.com. May 21, 2015.