Safe Harbor Treatment Center

Why LGBTQ Alcohol Rehab Is Important

Just like gender-specific rehab may be critical in achieving the best outcomes for men and women, the same can be said for the LGBTQ community.

It stands to reason that receiving treatment at a facility that truly gets you can make all the difference in the world in laying the proper groundwork for sustained sobriety. It may well be the only thing that works for some.

Going where you’re genuinely seen and understood makes the process that much easier.

What Is LGBTQ Alcohol Rehab?

LGBTQ alcohol rehab has all the hallmarks of “classic” rehab with the main difference being that the professionals at the treatment center receive specific training on how to provide better care for the community.

There are actually levels of this LGBT-sensitive treatment, the highest of which is known as LGBT-affirming treatment. Simply put, affirmative therapy is “a type of psychotherapy used to validate and advocate for the needs of sexual and gender minority clients. Therapists use verbal and nonverbal means to demonstrate an affirming stance toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) clients”

North Dakota State University describes it this way, “an approach to therapy that embraces a positive view of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) identities and relationships and addresses the negative influences that homophobia, transphobia, and heterosexism have on the lives of LGBTQ clients”

Does Addiction Affect the LGBTQ Community?

Addiction very much does affect the LGBTQ community and unfortunately, it stems from the discrimination faced by those in the community throughout their lives; one study found that 2/3rds of adults “reported at least 1 type of discrimination in their lifetimes”.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) adds that the LGBTQ community “often face social stigma, discrimination, and other challenges not encountered by people who identify as heterosexual. They also face a greater risk of harassment and violence. As a result of these and other stressors, sexual minorities are at increased risk for various behavioral health issues.”

This leads to substance usage at a higher rate than by heterosexual adults, with NIDA noting:

  • 37.6% of sexual minority adults 18 and older reported past-year marijuana use, compared to 16.2% of reported by the overall adult population
  • Past year opioid was also higher with 9% of sexual minority adults aged 18 or older reporting use compared to 3.8% among the overall adult population
  • LGBTQ individuals often enter treatment with more severe SUDs (substance use disorders)

Moreover, a study in Psychology of Addictive Behaviors found that “lesbians and bisexual women are at greater risk for alcohol and drug use disorders and related problems, and that gay and bisexual men are at greater risk for illicit drug use and related problems”.

How LGBTQ Alcohol Rehab Can Help You Get Sober

Taking into account the mental health aspects, potential trauma, family problems, and the like that are elevated among LGBT youth and adults, it would make sense that LGBTQ-specific alcohol rehab can play a big role in helping. How? Precisely because it more fully takes into account that lived experience of the community.

The treatment itself is framed around acknowledging those particular difficulties, challenges, and additional risk factors and coming from an affirmative place. The last thing you want to do is start treatment at a place that is hostile towards your community and makes you feel stigmatized for being who you are.

At Safe Harbor, our team is trained and educated to ensure your rehab program is catered to you, the whole of you. To learn more about LGBT-sensitive treatment, don’t hesitate to reach out.