Choosing LGBTQ Rehab Centers

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Authored by Jane Squires

Edited by Alexander Bentley

Reviewed by Michael Por

  1. Title: Choosing LGBTQ Rehab Centers
  2. Author: Jane Squires
  3. Editor: Alexander Bentley
  4. Reviewed: Michael Por
  5. Choosing LGBTQ Rehab Centers: At Worlds Best Rehab, we strive to provide the most up-to-date and accurate information on the web so our readers can make informed decisions about their healthcare. Our subject matter experts specialize in addiction treatment and behavioral healthcare. We follow strict guidelines when fact-checking information and only use credible sources when citing statistics and medical information. Look for the badge on our articles for the most up-to-date and accurate information. If you feel that any of our content is inaccurate or out-of-date, please let us know via our Contact Page
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For most, getting sober is a long and difficult process. For LGBTQ people, this process can be especially challenging: they may face additional struggles like discrimination and homophobia. But many still seek help for their addictions because chemical dependency is one of the challenges that everyone has to deal with in life. The staff at LGBTQ rehab centers aims to offer support during all stages of recovery from alcohol and drugs by creating a safe space. At such facilities, you will find psychotherapists who provide individual and group therapy and LGBTQ friendly therapists.


As LGBTQ rehab has grown, the LGBTQ community is better represented in counseling and treatment programs. The goal of LGBTQ addiction treatment is to help you recognize not only your addictive behavior but also how it relates to other aspects of your self. Most LGBTQ rehab centers provide a wealth of different services including LGBTQ addiction psychoeducation, group therapies, mindfulness techniques, one-on-one sessions with a counselor or therapist, gender identity support groups, LGBTQ sexuality groups, art classes and physical activities such as yoga or running.


LGBTQ drugs statistics


Chemical dependency in LGBTQ people can lead to a variety of mental health problems in addition to alcohol and drug abuse. In fact, many risk factors for addictions are in LGBTQ people. LGBTQ people are more likely to have issues with depression, anxiety and low self-esteem than the general population. LGBTQ drug statistics show that LGBTQ youth are at a higher risk of experimenting with drugs or alcohol.

LGBTQ Substance Abuse Statistics


While chemical dependency can affect anyone, LGBTQ people are more likely to use or abuse drugs and alcohol for different reasons than their heterosexual peers. Some studies indicate that LGBTQ individuals are three times more likely to experience substance dependence than the general population. Other studies show that certain groups of LGBTQ people—gay men in particular—are four times as likely to become addicted compared to their heterosexual counterparts.


Chemical dependency is a compulsive need to take drugs or drink despite any negative consequences it brings on an individual’s life, family, friends and career. According to the (Centers for Disease Control), LGBTQ drug abuse statistics indicate that LGBTQ people are more likely to use opioids, ecstasy, sedatives and alcohol than the general population.


Chemical dependency is not only an LGBTQ problem but one related to social inequalities. LGBTQ inequality has negative effects on people’s mental health and physical well-being because it limits economic opportunities for them by denying healthcare coverage or employment protection. LGBTQ drug statistics show that just 13 states across the country provide laws prohibiting insurers from excluding based on sexual orientation or gender identity.


The need for more LGBTQ rehabs


Uncovering the root of chemical dependency in our society is complex because it involves understanding how social inequalities affect people’s lives and well-being. For example, structural violence is ongoing exposure to domination that prevents people from self-realizing their full potential. LGBTQ individuals are more likely than heterosexuals to experience structural violence due to legalized discrimination against them, harassment and disparities in healthcare coverage, which can lead some of them to turn to substances or other forms of self-destruction or self-medication. These issues may cause LGBTQ individuals to become trapped in addiction.


LGBTQ Inequality and Violence


The LGBTQ population has a long history of being subjected to discrimination, violence and other harassment even before the AIDS epidemic. The LGBTQ community’s exposure to structural violence leads many LGBTQ people to believe that they are “less than” others, which causes low self-esteem that can lead to negative coping mechanisms such as alcohol or drug abuse.


In addition, LGBTQ persons experience high rates of interpersonal violence because their sexual orientation or gender identity is often targeted by perpetrators . According LGBTQ drugs statistics, research shows that same-sex couples suffer higher rates of domestic violence than opposite-sex couples. LGBTQ teens are more likely to experience violence, mistreatment and abuse in high school than their LGBTQ peers. LGBTQ teens who report such violence suffer from trauma that can hinder them from achieving success in . LGBTQ addiction statistics indicate that LGBTQ students experience higher levels of bullying and harassment at school compared to non-LGBTQ students.


LGBTQ Addiction and Prevention


Addiction is a compulsive, out-of-control dependency on alcohol or drugs when an individual’s use reaches the level when it begins causing harm in their lives, including family problems, financial issues, legal troubles and trouble with work performance due to impaired ability to function. Factors leading LGBTQ people to addiction can be both internal and external challenges related to LGBTQ identity. LGBTQ individuals often experience stressors such as social stigma surrounding their sexual orientation or gender identity that can lead them to use substances or engage in other risky behaviors.


LGBTQ Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES)


Early adverse experiences—such as physical, emotional, sexual abuse at home; the loss of a parent through death, divorce or estrangement; parental mental illness; household substance dependence; violence outside the home; and harsh punishment—are risk factors for chemical dependency later on in life . LGBTQ individuals who have a history of childhood sexual abuse are at even greater risk than others to develop an addiction. LGBTQ drug statistics share that LGBTQ people with histories of sexual abuse or physical assault are more likely to use substances, often in high doses. LGBTQ students, especially LGBTQ students of color, who report bullying also may be at higher risk for substance misuse than LGBTQ teens who don’t experience harassment .


LGBTQ substance abuse statistics


The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) reports that the LGBTQ community is over-represented in most categories of substance abuse compared to their percentage in the general population. LGBTQ drugs statistics show that 6% of lesbian or gay respondents were classified as having serious psychological distress (SPD). LGBTQ students were 7% more likely to have been forced to have intercourse, and LGBTQ people ages 12-17 years old who had been forced into sexual intercourse reported significantly higher levels of using anti-LGBTQ slurs at school, drinking alcohol and tobacco use compared with LGBTQ youth not involved in such acts. LGBTQ drug statistics show that LGBTQ youth are at a high risk for substance abuse due to increased exposure to environmental stressors. LGBTQ teens may be more vulnerable because LGBTQ students have a greater likelihood of being exposed to drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism.

LGBTQ Rehab Addiction Recovery


LGBTQ individuals face unique challenges during recovery from addiction. Family support is usually the factor which facilitates recovery from addiction, but it can also be detrimental . The rejection LGBTQ people often experience from their LGBTQ family members can prevent LGBTQ patients from seeking the necessary help to overcome their addiction. LGBTQ people also should be prepared for higher levels of loneliness, fear and anxiety due to the internalization of LGBTQ stigma .


Why Prevention Programs are Necessary for LGBTQ Rehab Communities


Substance abuse prevention programs are crucial LGBTQ communities because substance abuse poses risks that are specific to LGBTQ individuals or related to LGBTQ social issues. Preventing substance abuse among LGBTQ youth is important because it allows youth the opportunity to maximize personal development by eliminating barriers associated with misusing substances . This can include improving mental health outcomes, increasing academic performance and reducing engagement in risky sexual behaviors.


LGBTQ rehab centers exist throughout America. There are not enough LGBTQ rehab facilities, however. LGBTQ individuals are less likely to seek treatment for their substance abuse problems due to fear of LGBTQ stigma in therapeutic settings . LGBTQ patients may also find it difficult to find LGBTQ-friendly therapists or counselors who are knowledgeable about LGBTQ issues. This is why LGBTQ individuals should consider rehab programs that specialize in LGBTQ care in order to receive the best possible care in an LGBTQ-safe environment.


The Future of LGBTQ Rehab Centers


LGBTQ health care professionals are working to increase the number of effective LGBTQ mental health treatment programs for patients suffering from substance abuse disorders. This will improve the quality of life for LGBTQ people struggling with addiction by giving them more access to help . It is important for professional associations like SAMHSA to conduct research on how substance abuse affects LGBTQ individuals unique needs .


LGBTQ Rehab Addiction Resources

References: LGBTQ Rehab

  • Green KE. Barriers to service utilization and treatment preferences of worried drinkers of various sexual orientations. Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly. 2011;29:45–63. []
  • Halkitis PN, Parsons JT. Recreational drug use and HIV-risk sexual behavior among men frequenting gay social venues. Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services. 2002;14:19–39. []
  • Hughes TL, Eliason M. Substance use and abuse in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender populations. Journal of Primary Prevention. 2002;22:263–298. []
  • Kessler R, Berglund P, Demler O, Jin R, Merikangas K, Walters E. Lifetime Prevalence and Age-of-Onset Distributions of DSM-IV Disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Archives of General Psychiatry. 2005;62:593–602. [PubMed] []

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