Authored by Pin Ng PhD

Edited by Hugh Soames

Reviewed by Michael Por, MD


Research has found that the rate of individuals in the LGBTQ community suffering from substance misuse and addiction are higher than non-members.1 Individuals in the LGBTQ community face unique circumstances that others outside of it do not. LGBTQ members deal with friends, family, and most of society not accepting their lifestyles.

Internalized homophobia and self-loathing, negatively affects a person’s mental health, leading to addiction due to the impulsive need to calm themselves through drugs and alcohol.2 When individuals have been taught to fear sex and made to believe their sexuality is wrong, it would make sense for a person would direct themselves to drugs and alcohol for the purpose of numbing themselves or to decrease the heightening fear.

The LGBTQ community is twice as likely to develop addiction compared to non-members of the population. Underlying reasons occur that enable substance abuse to occur.3

Individuals also face other issues including trauma, violence and harassment, and abuse from people inside and outside the LGBTQ community. To help these individuals, LGBTQ rehab and gay-friendly treatment centers have opened to provide substance misuse treatment. Guests at LGBTQ rehab can also receive specialized help with co-occurring disorders.

Improving LGBTQ rehab experience

Rehab can be frightening for LGBTQ population members to attend. Individuals can feel shame, unsafe, and disrespected by attending rehab centers that are not gay-friendly. Many individuals do not seek the medical help needed due to the challenges presented by the medical community. Too often, members of the LGBTQ community are judged and bias are developed. Over the last two decades, shifting attitudes have improved the healthcare experience for LGBTQ members. Now, individuals can get the help needed to end alcohol and drug addiction.

Rehab centers have changed around the world and many are now LGBTQ-friendly. Many new facilities have sprung up to strictly focus on helping members of the gay, lesbian, and transgendered communities.

Resort 12 LGBTQ Rehab

When treating a wide range of alcohol and substance disorders, eating disorders and simultaneous mental illnesses in LGBTQ residents, Resort 12 offers an integrated treatment philosophy that uses a variety of therapeutic methods for personalized care. The therapies include nutrition education, fitness, body and massage therapy, holistic methods and evidence-based models.

Private LGBTQ Rehab

An increasingly popular option for the LGBTQ community is private rehab, and whilst the group element of therapy is not experienced it is certainly a good option for those in public service, the armed forces and individuals subject to intense media scrutiny. There are simply some elements that cannot be shared with the wider community for fear of it leaking to the public domain.

Single client LGBTQ rehab clinics such as Physis Recovery™ are able to create the best bespoke team of world class LGBTQ experts for each individual client. Delivering targeted and effective care to end the cycle of addiction with the greatest chance of long term recovery and remission.

Why is LGBTQ Rehab important?

Traditional rehabs can be bias and have negative views of people in the LGBTQ population. This can lead to discrimination from rehab facilities and other clients at the clinic.

Some of the factors that lead to substance misuse among members of the LGBTQ population include:

  • Exclusion from social groups
  • Exclusion from relationships and activities with family and/or friends
  • Physical and/or mental abuse by family members, friends, loved ones, and partners
  • Rejection by family and friends
  • Rejection by spiritual community
  • Loss of job, child custody, or public discrimination
  • Violence due to sexual orientation or gender identification
  • Sexuality discrimination combined with gender, race, and religion discrimination

It is common for members of the LGBTQ community to suffer multiple forms of discrimination. The combined issues that they face can lead to serious substance misuse issues and co-occurring mental health disorders.

Finding an LGBTQ rehab

Due to the specifics of each individual from the LGBTQ community and the issues they face, the requirements for rehab may not be met. Individuals may not be willing to ask for help if they don’t feel the treatment can address their specific issues.

There are a growing number of LGBTQ rehab centers that can deal with the issues LGBTQ community members face. Rehab can address the substance abuse problems individuals face along with recognizing and treating the co-occurring mental health issues that fester.

LGBTQ rehab may be a newer concept, but it really shouldn’t. Individuals should get the care they have always deserved without the bias and negative connotations that exist. Thankfully, now individuals can get the help they seek.

References: LGBTQ Rehab

  1. American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) Standard Definitions: Final Dispositions of Case Codes and Outcome Rates for Surveys. Ann Arbor, MI: AAPOR; 2005. []
  2. Bollen KA, Stine RA. Bootstrapping goodness-of-fit measures in structural equation models. Sociological Methods and Research. 1992;21:205–229. []
  3. Cass VC. Homosexual identity formation: A theoretical model. Journal of Homosexuality. 1979;4(3):219–235. [PubMed] []
  4. Frazier PA, Tix AP, Barron KE. Testing moderator and mediator effects in counseling psychology research. Journal of Counseling Psychology. 2004;51:115–134. []
  5. Holmbeck GN. Toward terminological, conceptual, and statistical clarity in the study of mediators and moderators: Examples from the child-clinical and pediatric psychology literatures. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. 1997;65:599–610. [PubMed] []
  6. Meyer IH, Rossano L, Ellis JM, Bradford J. A brief telephone interview to identify lesbian and bisexual women in random digit dialing sampling. Journal of Sex Research. 2002;39(2):139–144. [PubMed] []
  7. Rowen CJ, Malcolm JP. Correlates of internalized homophobia and homosexual identity formation in a sample of gay men. Journal of Homosexuality. 2002;43(2):77–92. [PubMed] []
  8. Szymanski DM, Chung YB. The Lesbian Internalized Homophobia Scale: A rational/theoretical approach. Journal of Homosexuality. 2001;41(2):37–52. [PubMed] []
  9. Turner RJ, Wheaton B, Lloyd DA. The epidemiology of social stress. American Sociological Review. 1995;60:104–125. []
Chairman & CEO at Remedy Wellbeing | Website | + posts

Alexander Bentley is the Chairman & CEO of Remedy Wellbeing™ as well as the creator & pioneer behind Tripnotherapy™, embracing ‘NextGen’ psychedelic bio-pharmaceuticals to treat burnout, addiction, depression, anxiety and psychological unease.

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