LGBT Drug Rehab and Treatment

Addiction knows no boundaries; it affects people of all races, creeds, genders, and sexual orientations. However, while people from all populations can be – and are – affected by addiction, the rates of substance abuse and addiction are significantly higher among the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. In fact, studies have found that twice as many people in this demographic have used drugs or alcohol compared to their heterosexual peers. Furthermore, members of the LGBT community are twice as likely to become addicted to drugs or alcohol as their heterosexual peers.

The high incidence of substance abuse and addiction among the LGBT population highlights the growing needs for specialized rehabilitation centers that provide treatment for people in this demographic.

Substance Abuse and the LGBT Community

Why is substance abuse more prevalent among those the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender population? Studies have found that members of this community face many more challenges than their heterosexual peers. Discrimination is one of the leading factors that contribute to addiction among this subset of people. Historically, those who identify as LGBT have experienced severe discrimination in a variety of forms, some of the most common of which include:

  • Not being included in social settings and activities; in fact, in many areas, LGBT individuals have been largely excluded by society.
  • Physical, mental, emotional, and verbal abuse from peers, family members, and partners.
  • Rejection by loved ones (parents, siblings, grandparents, aunt, uncles, etc)
  • Bullying and ridicule
  • Sexual discrimination in the work place, houses of worship, public facilities, etc

Studies have revealed that LGBT individuals who have endured several forms of discrimination are significantly more likely to abuse drugs or alcohol and develop addiction disorder.

It has also been determined that there are a number of other factors that can contribute to the increased incidence of substance abuse and addiction disorder among the LGBT community. For example, members of this demographic have limited access to treatment services that cater to their needs. Many facilities do not provide the insight and tools that are necessary to help LGBT persons successfully overcome addiction. Furthermore, many LGBT persons may be reluctant to seek out treatment for addiction disorder because they fear that they will be discriminated against or abused by care providers and other patients.

Signs of Addiction

If someone you know is a lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender, it’s important to pay attention to any signs that may indicate that he or she is abusing and has become addicted to drugs and/or alcohol. The following signs are indicative of addiction disorder:

  • Marked changes in personality; hostility, aggression, irritability, depression, etc
  • Paranoia and/or anxiety
  • Declining physical appearance
  • Poor oral and physical hygiene; tooth decay and loss, body odor, severe skin blemishes, etc
  • Skin scratches and/or scabs
  • Intense itching
  • Secretive behavior
  • Declining performance in school, work, and other aspects of life
  • Decreased interest in socialization and things that the individual once enjoyed doing
  • Dilated pupils and bloodshot eyes
  • Track marks along the arms, legs, feet, or other parts of the body

If you notice any of these signs or symptoms, there’s a good chance that your loved one might be suffering from substance abuse and addiction disorder.

Treatment Options

The incidence of substance abuse and addiction among the LGBT community, combined with the limited resources that are available for treatment, the need for more treatment options for this population is evident. There is good news, however; many addiction treatment centers are offering services that cater to the needs of LGBT persons. New rehab facilities are opening up and new treatment programs are developing that are specifically designed to help lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered individuals recover from substance abuse and addiction. These rehab centers and programs are better equipped to manage the particular factors that contribute to addiction among this population.

Reputable rehab facilities and treatment programs recognize the unique issues that LGBT persons are confronted with. They will also employ tactics that will cater to these needs to improve the chances of recovery; for example, an inpatient treatment facility should ensure that transgendered people are houses with the gender that they identify with. Furthermore, they will not tolerate any form of discrimination, and will strictly enforce rules to prevent discrimination.

Help is Just a Phone Call Away

If you or someone you know is a member of the LGBT community and suffering from substance abuse and addiction disorder, recovery is possible. Contact us today and our highly trained counselors will connect you with a reputable rehab center or treatment program that will meet your unique needs. Let us be your first step on the path to lifelong sobriety.