Looking For An LGBT Rehab? Help is here.
In the substance rehabilitation settings, various specialized health facilities cater to different needs of social subgroups: however there are few LGBT Rehabs. For many years now, there have been many exclusive substance rehabilitation centers that are specialized for adolescents, men, and women. Also, many treatment facilities are dedicated to a specific group of diagnoses such as eating disorders, alcohol abuse, sex addiction, dual diagnoses, and many more. Currently, there has been a growing demand for substance rehabilitation centers that cater to the needs of the lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender (LGBT) community.
According to the National Association of Lesbian and Gay Addiction Professionals (NALSAP), currently, there are no actual figures in terms of addiction rates in the LGBT community due to lack of research and sensitivity of the topic. However, they report that there is an increasing rate of substance addiction in the LGBT community. Most studies attribute this to social stress and discrimination that most of the members of this community experience.
Alcohol Abuse in LGBT Community
Alcohol abuse is predominantly rampant among members of the LGBT community compared with other forms of substance abuse. This was mainly attributed to the party scene of the LGBT community, such as “gay pride” parades, wherein gay young adults are more exposed to alcoholic beverages. Some also attribute alcohol addiction of the LGBT community as an escape from social prejudice they experience on a daily basis.
Crystal Meth Abuse in the LGBT Community
Currently, there has been a new trend of increasing rates in crystal meth and amphetamine substance abuse in the LGBT community. This is a pressing problem because the negative effects of these substances in the body are more harmful and more long-term compared with alcohol abuse. This has also been related to increased risk of having HIV/AIDS among gay men due to uninhibited sexual behaviors that result from meth and amphetamine abuse.
Risk Factors for Substance Abuse in the LGBT Community
Due to the isolation experienced by the LGBT community from mainstream culture as a result of homophobia and prejudice, they experience greater amount of social pressure and emotional distress. A lot of hate crimes against members of the LGBT community are also brought on by the said social prejudice of the mainstream culture against them. Because of this, they are at greater risk for substance abuse as a way of coping with these problems. Specialty programs are available but you have to do your research to find a good LGBT Rehab.
NALGAP also identified possible risk factors that could predispose LGBT individuals to substance dependence. These include lack of self-worth and acceptance and lack of support from family and peers. Those individuals who have not yet come out also have difficulty having a grasp of their identity and have difficulty coping with “being different” from their heterosexual peers. Most of them lack interaction from other gays and lesbians aside from settings that may give them access to alcohol and drugs such as bars and parties.
LGBT Rehab addresses Issues of Homophobia
In terms of handling clients from the LGBT community, substance rehabilitation facilities should have a clear and comprehensive understanding of homophobia and heteroxism to relate better with these clients. Homophobia is defined as an aversion and prejudice against homosexuals, whereas heteroxism refers to ignoring or denying needs of a person who is not conventionally a heterosexual.
The common problem that exists is that the staff may not be sensitive to the sexual orientation the members of the LGBT community. Some treatment centers fail to ask this important question upon admission, quickly assuming that the sex and gender of the client is the same, making the people of LGBT community feel like they are negligible from society. A lot of clients from the LGBT community who has not yet come out develop a sense of internal homophobia with this kind of treatment, making them feel that what they are is wrong.
Members of the LGBT community are more likely to be depressed, anxious, and isolated from other people if this is not addressed immediately. As a result, it should be of utmost importance among rehabilitation centers that cultural and gender sensitivity should always be practiced so as to enable recovery of LGBT clients smoothly and safely.
Specialized Continuum of Care for the LGBT Community in Rehabilitation Settings
A good LGBT Rehab does not differ from regular rehabilitation programs.
The ultimate goal is to stop substance abuse and prevent them from returning to their addictive behaviors. However, the rehabilitation facility should make individualized programs for members of the LGBT community, taking into consideration their emotional and cultural needs. They should be sensitive about their client’s sexual identity and prevent any practice that condones homophobia and heteroxism.
Staff of an LGBT Rehab should be well trained in terms of dealing with clients from the LGBT community. They should be well informed with regards to the emotional and cultural issues that LGBT clients experience. They should not be antagonistic towards LGBT clients, nor neglectful of their needs. Misconceptions about LGBT such as their sexual preference as the cause of their substance abuse or that rehabilitation can convert them to heterosexuals should be completely dispelled.
Group therapy facilitators should also be well trained to enable harmonious interaction between LGBT clients and non-LGBT clients. Group therapy sessions are very important in terms of helping LGBT clients recover from substance addiction due to a sense of acceptance from non-LGBT peers. This will help them feel that they should not be isolated from society, and help them cope with their emotional and social issues.
What Is A LGBT Friendly Rehab – From The Web
The wffh.org has posted an interesting article on LGBT Friendly Rehabs. The community…needs to be taught about their lifestyle, homophobia, heterosexism, coming out and the host of issues the gay community faces. Each staff needed to be assessed as to their homophobic attitudes and educated accordingly.
Reducing Suicide Risk for LGBT Youth – In The News
LGBT Rehab is extremely helpful with depression in the LGBT Community; however the HuffingtonPost.com reports on a new groundbreaking practice to reduce suicide in youth.We now have a new, powerful tool to build these vital connections between LGBT youth and their families: FAP’s Supportive Families, Healthy Children booklet, which educates families about the positive impacts of accepting their LGBT children. And in what is truly monumental news for those in my field, the Suicide Prevention Resource Council, the leading suicide prevention organization, has granted Supportive Families its Best Practices designation — the first of its kind for a suicide-prevention tool aimed specifically at LGBT youth.
To know more about specialized rehabilitation and care for members of the LGBT community who have substance abuse problems, contact the Hawaii Island Recovery at 866-515-5032.
You can explore treatment options that are gender and cultural sensitive for LGBT clients which include individualized plan of care, medical intervention, health education, individual and group therapy that allow interaction with peers who also experience the same problems. Take action and do not be afraid to ask for help.