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LGBTQ+ is the most common abbreviation used to describe all communities included in the LGBTTTQQIAA.
These communities include:
This is not a complete list. The words used to describe these identities and communities are constantly developing and expanding. People may identify as something that is not included in our list. Other all-encompassing terms include “Queer Community” and “Rainbow Community.”
Scientific studies may refer to people in these groups as “sexual minorities” or “gender minorities.”
People who identify as LGBTQ+ often face social stigma, discrimination, and other unfair treatment. This treatment usually isn’t experienced by their heterosexual counterparts. They also face a higher risk of harassment, violence, and hate crimes.
As a result, the LGBTQ+ community is significantly impacted by alcoholism and substance abuse.
Up to 25 percent of the LGBTQ+ community has a moderate alcohol dependency. In comparison, five to ten percent of the general population has moderate alcohol dependency.
There are many reasons the LGBTQ+ struggles with alcoholism.
One is due to the bigotry and discrimination that the community faces. This is especially true for the older generation of LGBTQ+ members.
Discrimination can lead to mental health issues, including anxiety and depression. Those affected may experience distress, fear, and feelings of low self-esteem.
Many people turn to binge drinking and illicit drugs to self-medicate.
Self-medication often makes mental health illnesses worse. This can lead to more drinking and drug use, creating a downward spiral.
Many people in the LGBTQ+ community do not have the same support systems as their heterosexual counterparts.
Often, members of the LGBTQ+ community are prevented from attending faith-based support systems. Or they must hide their sexual orientation to participate.
Many queer people also lose support from their families and loved ones when they come out. Homelessness is a big problem among young members of the LGBTQ+ community. They often run away or are shunned by their families and loved ones.
Awareness of the problems the LGBTQ+ community face is growing. There are various LGBTQ+ specific treatments to meet their unique needs.
Treatment facilities are becoming more sensitive to specific groups. Many facilities provide programs or services that cater to LGBTQ+ people.
If you, a friend, or a loved one is experiencing alcoholism, you are not alone. Achieving sobriety is a challenging journey that may require professional help and guidance.
Here are several types of LGBTQ+ friendly addiction treatment programs:
An LGBTQ+ rehab center or treatment program is designed to help the LGBTQ+ community. They usually provide programs categorized by sexual orientation or gender identity.
They are often staffed by LGBTQ+ medical professionals.
LGBTQ+ rehab center staff understand the specific stressors that the community deals with. Staff members who are not part of the LGBTQ+ community are trained to understand their clients’ particular needs.
An LGBTQ+ addiction center provides the typical range of treatments, including medical detox and therapy.
Extra support addresses specific issues like homophobia, transphobia, and familial rejection.
Many LGBTQ+ alcohol and drug treatment programs address other conditions in addition to the addiction.
Patients may be addicted to more than one substance or experience co-occurring mental health disorders. They may also have additional health issues, such as HIV/AIDS or hepatitis.
Most specialty treatment centers offer dual diagnosis treatment.
Many LGBTQ+ friendly rehab centers offer extra counseling for partners and families of patients. Traditional family therapy and marriage counseling often isn’t suitable.
During therapy, LGBTQ+ friendly counselors consider a patient’s sexual orientation and how it may affect relationships.
LGBTQ+ friendly alcohol and drug centers address the unique needs and concerns of people in the community. Treatment facilities provide safe, comfortable, and non-judgmental environments.
During treatment, the standard concerns of addiction are addressed. Any unique issues that LGBTQ+ members face are also treated.
Individualized addiction treatment is more effective than a one-size-fits-all approach. This is especially true for LGBTQ+ members who struggle with extra challenges during treatment.
LGBTQ+ friendly facilities offer more targeted treatments.
LGBTQ+ community members can complete alcohol and substance abuse treatment at conventional rehab centers. However, there are advantages to receiving treatment designed to meet the specific needs of LGBTQ+ people.
LGBTQ+-friendly facilities often use staff trained in handling issues that LGBTQ+ people face. Traditional treatment centers may be unfamiliar or uncomfortable with these.
Members of the LGBTQ+ community may feel isolated or ostracized with standard treatment. However, at LGBTQ+ centers, patients are more likely to feel a sense of belonging.
Counselors working at LGBTQ+ facilities have a strong understanding of life experiences that many LGBTQ+ members face.
Rehab centers that cater to LGBTQ+ communities often have more complex goals than mainstream addiction facilities.
The same primary goal is to help people break their addictions. LGBTQ+ friendly centers offer services that can help address identity issues that often link to a patient’s substance abuse.
Some people may also need to explore their sexual identity to understand their alcohol or drug use.
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