People who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or questioning face higher rates of social stigma and discrimination than those in the sexual majority. They also face a greater risk of violence and harassment simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
This stigmatization contributes to higher rates of substance abuse and addiction among LGBTQ individuals compared to the general population, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
In 2015, for example, the percentage of sexual minorities with illicit drug or alcohol use disorder was 15.1%, compared with 7.8% of non-LGBTQ+ individuals.
Co-Occurring Mental Health Issues
LGBTQ individuals not only have higher rates of substance abuse disorders and addiction, they are also disproportionately affected by co-occurring mental health issues—especially anxiety and depression. In the treatment community, this is often referred to as “dual diagnosis.”
Common psychological or emotional disorders present in the LGBTQ community include:
- Suicidal thoughts or attempts
- High levels of stress
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction and a co-occurring mental health issue, it’s critical to find a dual diagnosis rehab center qualified to treat both addiction and mental health disorders.
Challenges the LGBTQ Community Faces
LGBTQ individuals are more likely to have stressful childhood experiences, including bullying at school, harassment, and family conflict. This increases their risk for substance abuse.
Sadly, these kinds of negative experiences don’t end when a person turns 18. As adults, the LGBTQ community continues to face a number of societally imposed obstacles, which can include:
- Loss of employment, difficulty getting hired, not receiving promotions, and fewer opportunities in general
- Rejection by family or friends after coming out
- Discrimination or stigmatization based on sexual orientation or gender identity
- Hate crimes, emotional abuse, threats, public humiliation, and violence
Transgender individuals are particularly vulnerable. They have higher rates of both mental health disorders and substance abuse and addiction. One study found that transgender students were about 2.5 times more likely to use drugs like methamphetamines and cocaine than their cisgender peers.
LGBTQ-Friendly Addiction Treatment Programs
While drugs and alcohol may help temporarily numb emotional pain and anxiety, frequent abuse can lead to addiction and chemical dependency.
If you are an LGBTQ person struggling with addiction, finding the right support is key. Specialized treatment programs for the LGBTQ community create a safe, confidential space where people can be themselves without fear of rejection, intimidation, or judgment. This is vital to the recovery process.
An effective treatment program will include therapies that help address the specific challenges LGBTQ people face.
Why Choose Adelante Recovery Center
Adelante Recovery Center provides effective, evidence-based addiction and mental health treatment that addresses the specific needs of LGBTQ individuals. We strive to create an open, welcoming environment that fosters healing and well-being.
Individual counseling and group therapy form the core of our program. Our experienced therapists use a variety of evidence-based therapeutic techniques, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
LGBTQ addiction counseling helps clients explore the underlying causes of their substance abuse and find healthier ways of managing stress and anxiety.
Group counseling sessions provide the opportunity to form fellowship with peers, work on social skills, and learn about oneself through constructive feedback from the group.
Family counseling is a crucial part of recovery for many LGBTQ+ individuals. Some families struggle to understand their loved one’s sexual orientation or gender identity or reject their LGBTQ family member altogether. Fostering understanding between family members and healing severed ties (where possible) can help rebuild lost trust and lay the foundation for mutually respectful relationships.
Our team understands the importance of safe housing for members of the LGBTQ community. We offer private rooms for those who need it, and we house patients according to their presented gender identity.
Clients in our LGBTQ treatment program benefit from:
- On-site medical experts and trained therapists
- Therapists trained in issues facing LGBTQ individuals
- Private treatment center with ocean views and access to open space
- Luxury amenities in a home-like setting
Our beautiful Orange County treatment center in Corona del Mar is the ideal setting for healing and recovery. Beautiful ocean views help clients relax and unwind so they can focus on recovery. We’ve thoughtfully designed our Southern California residential rehab center to feel like home away from home.
Call us to learn more about our LGBTQ addiction treatment programs and to schedule a tour of our addiction treatment center in Orange County, CA.