The LGBT population has endured a long struggle to achieve equal rights and equal treatment in addiction – a battle that unfortunately continues in many regions of the country. Gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender individuals often face a host of issues that complicate recovery – including social stigmas, strained relationships with relatives, daily encounters with prejudice and negative self-beliefs that have originated from society at large. Each individual seeking help for substance abuse deserves counseling and addiction treatment that accepts and understands the whole person – both in the area of sexual orientation and dimensions beyond. For many struggling with the added burden of substance abuse, LGBT specialty counseling offers a compassionate and enlightened avenue for healing.
Reasons to Seek LGBT Specialty Counseling
There are many drug and alcohol counselors and treatment centers that focus on particular addictions, populations or diagnoses. Traditional drug treatment may involve an environment that makes discussion of LGBT issues difficult – or even impossible – in some locales if an atmosphere of intolerance persists. In the wrong setting, patients can find it daunting to share information about their personal lives, sexual orientation, relationship difficulties or family struggles, making group and individualized therapy sessions involved in addiction recovery counterproductive.
Benefits of Counseling
However, counselors and therapists who understand LGBT issues can offer a unique perspective on addiction treatment that provides respect and dignity to the patient and their families. A LGBT treatment center can offer comprehensive addiction treatment without any involvement of heterosexism or discrimination from staff or peers living in residential treatment facilities. While LGBT rehab and counseling centers offer basic services associated with traditional rehabilitation centers, other aspects of treatment may be enhanced in the following ways.
- A supportive and safe environment for LGBT persons and those who support them.
- Counselors who understand struggles involved with embracing your sexuality and the subsequent coming out process.
- Cognitive work and life skills building to help build your self-confidence and prepare you to foster healthy relationships within the LGBT community.
- Group therapy sessions which support your needs and allow you to interact with like-minded individuals.
- Family outreach and family counseling to help families heal old wounds or simply grow stronger together.
- Treatment targeted at healing emotional wounds from past bullying, trauma, low self-esteem or family mistreatment.
Questions to Ask LGBT Rehabilitation Centers
Despite reputations for tolerance, not every LGBT rehab offers the same level of treatment. Rehab methodologies, facility amenities and staff-to-patient ratios can vary from one treatment center to the next. As you approach LGBT addiction treatment, you may want to ask some the following questions to better gauge the level and quality of care you will receive.
- What makes your LGBT services effective?
- Do you offer Dual Diagnosis treatment to help treat both addiction for those with concurrent mental health disorders, such as depression or anxiety?
- Do you offer a safe, medically assisted detox with nurses or doctors present?
- How much have your counselors dealt with the LGBT population? What is their philosophy for specialized care within this demographic?
- Do you offer post-treatment planning, alumni groups, ongoing counseling or relapse prevention?
Find LGBT-Friendly Counseling
We offer a unique 24-hour helpline to help LGBT individuals facing addiction to embark on the path to recovery. Our confidential addiction counselors invite your call, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. When you call our toll-free number, you will speak with a live counselor who will take the time to listen to your story and work with you to find tolerant rehabilitation and counseling facilities to meet your treatment needs.