When it comes to the process of LGBTQ addiction rehab, an extended stay in a rehab facility is often a crucial first step. Those in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transsexual (LGBTQ) community often have special needs in this area. Specific LGBTQ addiction treatment rehab programs can help provide a strong foundation for addressing long-term care and ongoing recovery.
Studies have shown that members of the LGBT community are up to four times more likely to develop a problem with drugs or alcohol then their heterosexual counterparts. LGBTQ addiction statistics Data from the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), suggests that substance use patterns reported by sexual minority adults (in this survey, sexual minority adults includes individuals who describe themselves as lesbian, gay, or bisexual) are higher compared to those reported by heterosexual adults. Past year opioid use (including misuse of prescription opioids or heroin use) was also higher with 9% of sexual minority adults aged 18 or older reporting use compared to 3.8% among the overall adult population. Additionally, 9% of sexual minority adults aged 26 or older reported past year misuse of prescription opioids—an increase from the 6.4% who reported misuse in 2017.
To understand why finding a LGBT-friendly rehab facility is so important, we first have to understand the connection between addiction and LGBT issues.
Connections Of Drug Addiction & LGBT Issues in Colorado
Addiction is categorized as a mental health disorder with both physical and psychological components. On the psychological side of things, it is often a maladaptive way of dealing with emotional stress. For straight substance abusers, this stress may come from traumatic experiences, such as having grown up in a dysfunctional family or having survived a life-threatening event. Deprived of opportunities to learn healthy ways of dealing with these problems, they turn to drugs or alcohol as a way to numb the pain.
Because of the social stigma that has traditionally surrounded being gay or transgendered, those of the community generally deal with a higher level of psychological stress. The sources of this stress can be anything from feeling isolated due to having to be in the closet to experiencing rejection by their family of origin to being discriminated against due to anti-gay cognitive biases and religious beliefs. Many may even have been the victims of violence, or at least have had to live with the threat of violence. Others may have lost out on job opportunities, which adds the burden of financial pressure.
Put under a greater than average amount of emotional stress by the culture that they find themselves in, those of the LGBT community too often find the artificial euphoria and numbing effects of drugs or alcohol to be a readily accessible means of escape. LGBTQ addiction treatment is critical for helping members of this community find relief from substance use disorders.
Acute stress disorder vs PTSD are important factors to consider when examining effectiveness LGBTQ addiction treatment.
How LGBT Rehab Differs from Traditional Rehab in Colorado
In all long-term rehab programs, after the patient has undergone detox and adjusted to their new environment, the process of working through the reasons for why they use drugs, and for developing better coping strategies for life’s challenges, begins. This is often done with the help of a counselor, a support group or 12-step group, or both.
In an LGBTQ rehab program, counselors are specifically trained in addressing the issues which are unique to the community. This contrasts with traditional rehab, where counselors may not be as familiar with such issues and may share in the same biases as the general population, sometimes even trying to change the patient’s orientation as part of their recovery. In LGBT rehab counseling, the focus is instead on helping the patient develop skills and strategies for coping with the challenges inherent to their situation. Additionally, LGBTQ addiction rehab should address relapse prevention strategies.
Likewise, in group counseling and 12-step groups, it is important that the patient be able to be open and honest about their struggles. In a traditional rehab setting, surrounded by heterosexual peers that don’t share the same experiences and may feel uncomfortable hearing others talk about them, this may be impossible. Being among people from similar walks of life gives the patient a safe environment in which to share.
What to Look for in an LGBT Treatment Program in Colorado
In considering any rehab problem, there are certain features which should be present. Beyond these, members of the LGBT community have additional features that they should look for.
General Features of a Good Rehab Program in Colorado
- Cost and Treatment Options: Treatment for LGBTQ addiction rehab is never a one-size-fits-all proposition, regardless of who the patient is. It is important, therefore, to make sure that you find out what treatment options a particular rehab facility offers and that they line up with your individual needs. And, of course, there’s the cost; make sure that you’re getting a good value and that you get the details upfront. Some facilities require you to pay for room and board and any additional medical treatment that you might require.
- Success Rate: When it comes to choosing a rehab facility, past performance matters; you don’t want to spend your time and money on a program unless you know that it has a good chance of working for you. This can be a bit tricky, though. There’s no such thing as a perfect rehab program; if the quoted success rate sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- Outpatient Care: Although LBGTQ rehab is often an important first step, the long process of recovery doesn’t end when you “graduate” from the program. Any rehab facility that you consider should also offer outpatient care as a follow-up. This includes therapy, additional support, and alumni programs.
For some more general information on drug and alcohol rehab in Colorado, feel free to visit our LGBTQ addiction treatment programs.
LGBTQ Addiction Rehab Specific Drug Programs
Identifying the resources that help address specific LGBTQ issues is critical for helping members of this community overcome the disease of addiction. There are important factors to consider when choosing among LGBTQ-specific addiction programs. Some essentials can include:
- Staff Familiarity with LGBT Issues: When deciding between LGBT-friendly rehab programs, you should be aware that the staff simply being accepting of your orientation and lifestyle is not enough in of itself. You should find out what sort of training and experience the staff has with the issues inherent to being gay or transgendered. A good rule of thumb is that they should be as familiar with these issues as they are with addiction itself. Some LGBT rehab programs only hire within the community.
- Inclusiveness: Another issue to consider is which parts of the community are catered to in a given program. Some rehab programs welcome all LGBT community members, while others focus exclusively on gay men, lesbian women, or transgendered individuals. It’s important to ask yourself what’s important for you
AspenRidge Recovery is versed in addiction care that helps individuals achieve long-term sobriety. We have an LGBTQ drug rehab program that provides supportive and tailored care for individuals and families battling with substance use disorder. Contact us today to learn more at 855-281-5588.