Members of the LGBTQ+ community must often overcome social challenges both among their loved ones and in general society. These challenges are often ones that individuals outside of the LGBTQ+ community don’t have to face. As many of these groups battle for acceptance among their loved ones and peers, the many stereotypes and misconceptions related to their way of life lead to drastic coping mechanisms, such as substance abuse. To help the people of such a colorful community receive the care they need to regain their health and sobriety, Clearbrook Treatment Center offers LGBTQ+ addiction treatment in Massachusetts.
Challenges the LGBTQ+ Community Faces
The LGBTQ+ community suffers from higher rates of drug and alcohol abuse than the population as a whole, meaning LGBTQ+ rehab centers are necessary now more than ever. This is partly due to various societal obstacles they face, usually daily, that those who identify as heterosexual usually do not. A few of these challenges include:
- Discrimination or stigmatization based on sexual orientation
- Hate crimes
- Emotional and physical abuse
- Public humiliation or ridicule
- Rejection or shame from family or friends after coming out
- Loss of employment or not receiving promotions due to sexual orientation
Oftentimes, LGBTQ+ individuals turn to drugs and alcohol as a way to cope with these issues. However, these substances only numb depression, anxiety, anger, and fear temporarily rather than provide a long-term solution. In their attempt to regain stability and find happiness, LGBTQ+ people who engage in substance abuse end up developing an addiction.
Transgender individuals are especially prone to turning to drugs and alcohol to cope with mental illness, including feelings of anxiety, fear, and loneliness caused by negative stigma and discrimination. One study found that transgender students are 2.5 times more likely to use cocaine or methamphetamine. Results also showed that they are twice as likely to abuse prescription drugs like opioids and benzos, as well.1
Another conflict that’s prevalent in the LGBTQ+ community is that they’re often forced to live a “closeted” or hidden life. This is where the person hides their sexuality from others due to fear of rejection. This can lead to a double life, which can make balancing their social life and other areas difficult.
Keeping one’s sexuality is also like hiding a big psychological secret, which is why this often leads to the development of a mental health disorder or a co-occurring disorder (in cases where the person also has an addiction).
In addition to societal challenges, LGBTQ+ members may also experience physical or health issues related to their sexuality, which may contribute to drug abuse. These may include compulsive sexual behavior, sexual dysfunction, sexual abuse/assault, and sex or HIV-related anxiety.
Due to the various challenges that plague many people in the LGBTQ+ community, LGBTQ+ treatment centers need to focus on addressing any co-occurring disorders to allow for the highest chance of long-term sobriety. This is exactly what our LGBTQ+ addiction treatment does.
Our LGBTQ+ Substance Abuse Treatment
One of the reasons that LGBTQ+ people may be hesitant to reach out for medically supervised detox or addiction treatment is the lack of resources available to them that address their individual needs. It’s important for gay-friendly rehab centers to offer specialized care administered by patient, compassionate, and understanding specialists who are dedicated to helping clients overcome their challenges.
LGBTQ+ addiction support groups and addiction treatment facilities help pinpoint any co-occurring mental health disorders, which helps with lasting healing and sobriety. Without addressing the causes of a client’s drug use, there’s a far greater chance for relapse.
If you or a loved one requires LGBTQ+ substance use treatment, our Massachusetts inpatient drug rehab can help. Our services include residential mental health care, medical detox, substance-specific programs, psychotherapy, aftercare support, and more.
For more information about our addiction treatment for LGBTQ+ people or other services offered at our Northeast addictions treatment center, contact Clearbrook today.
- National Library of Medicine – Substance Use Among Transgender Students in California Public Middle and High Schools