So How Do We Help LGBT People Suffering from Addiction?
Admitting issues associated with addiction is definitely important, because getting help as a gay or transgender person is a little different than it is for a straight person suffering from addiction. Doctors and counselors who understand the burdens of being LBGT can design treatment programs that are designed to appeal to – and more important, to work for – LBGT individuals in ways that “standard” treatment programs do not.
For one thing, these days LBGT individuals can finally find help in rehab centers that have been specifically designed just for them. There are treatment centers that cater to the unique needs of gay men, lesbian women, bisexuals, and even LBGT youth. These individualized treatment options can make a big difference in the ability of these individuals to recover from an addiction.
Some issues dealt with at specialized LBGT treatment centers in addition to standard rehab and recovery programs include:
- Managing discrimination from others
- Dealing with depression, anxiety, and guilt that stem from sexual orientation or gender identity
- Handling peer pressure
- Guidelines for accepting their identity and coming out
- The Advantage of Specialized LGBT Rehab Centers
More and more, help centers are springing up that have a real understanding of the specific needs of LBGT people. Going to such rehabilitation centers can make the patient feel more at home, and assist in the recovery process. Just being around other people who have had the same struggles in life is itself a great therapy, which can tremendously improve the patient’s feelings of self-worth and self-esteem.
LBGT individuals need to be cared for as individuals, in a warm and welcoming environment where they do not feel the alienation that drove them into addiction in the first place. As an additional plus, these types of recovery facilities often also specialize in treating other co-occurring disorders, if they are present.