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Counseling for LGBT Substance Abuse

Medically Verified: 2/1/24

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All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Counseling for LGBT Substance Abuse 

Providing counseling for LGBT substance abuse is important. Members of the LGBT community have suffered from an immense amount of hardships. Their struggles for equal rights, as well as their fight against discrimination, unfortunately, continues while trying to receive substance abuse treatment. Members of the LGBT community suffer from unique social stigmas, discrimination from their own families, and negative daily encounters. Unfortunately, dealing with each of these issues can lead to the development of self-hatred as well as additional health issues

Consequently, this means that substance abuse treatment centers must be equipped to properly address the unique hardships that these individuals face. Luckily, there is specialty counseling for members of the LGBT community for this exact reason. When a member of the LGBT community suffers from substance abuse, it is vital for them to deal with the root causes of their addictions. Therefore, finding a counselor who specializes in the treatment of LGBT individuals with substance abuse issues. 


Why Should I Seek LGBT Counseling?

There are many substance abuse treatment programs that are efficient in helping their patients begin recovery. However, finding a specialized treatment program or counseling center is always recommended when possible. This applies especially to members of the LGBT community. 

Opening up in counseling sessions about LGBT issues can be extremely difficult when you are not sure if the program is tolerant of your community. In a traditional treatment program, for example, patients typically undergo group therapy with other patients. If you are in an LGBT focused treatment program, opening up in group therapy sessions may feel safer and more welcoming. 


LGBT Substance Abuse Counseling 

LGBT substance abuse treatment programs can offer extensive counseling that addresses the specific needs of the LGBT community. Additionally, these treatment programs offer a safe space for queer or trans individuals to fully recover from their addiction. Each and every person on staff are qualified and experienced in treating members of the LGBT community. This can be an immense relief for individuals who have previously faced discrimination due to their sexual or gender orientations. Most importantly, the counselors and doctors at LGBT addiction treatment programs provide an empathetic and non-judgemental environment for their patients to recover in. 

LGBT substance abuse treatment centers utilize traditional addiction treatment methods, however, they have additional benefits included in their programs for members of the LGBT community. These benefits include:

  • A supportive environment as well as a safe space for the LGBT community 
  • Counselors who understand the struggles associated with identifying as a sexual or gender minority 
  • Cognitive therapies and life skills that allow patients to have healthy relationships within their community 
  • Group therapy sessions with peers who have gone through similar struggles in the LGBT community 
  • Family counseling that can help patients rebuild relationships with their families, or create healthy boundaries with them
  • Treatment that targets the healing of emotional pain stemming from bullying, trauma, low self-esteem, or mistreatment by family
  • Facing internalized shame in relation to gender or sexual orientation 
  • Dealing with discrimination, homophobia, or transphobia
  • Handling current gender or sexual identity issues
  • Acknowledgment of the importance of mental health

Treatment centers that specialize in LGBT substance abuse counseling can provide patients with a stronger foundation of recovery. While receiving treatment for addiction, patients can also work on past traumas, learned shame or guilt in relation to their orientation, and how to have healthy and proud relationships. 


Guidelines for Finding LGBT Substance Abuse Counseling 

Because every person’s needs are different, it is vital to ensure that the treatment center you are interested in offers all of the services you need. Just like any other traditional addiction treatment programs, LGBT specific programs differ by level of treatment. Additionally, each treatment center will incorporate differing rehab methodologies, amenities, and staff-to-patient ratios. 

While looking into LGBT treatment, you should ask the following questions:

  • What makes this treatment center’s LGBT services effective?
  • Does your treatment center offer dual-diagnosis services for patients with concurrent mental health disorders?
  • Does your program include a medication-assisted detox?
  • How do counselors deal with LGBT specific issues? 
  • How much experience do the doctors, counselors, and additional staff members have with treating LGBT patients?
  • Does your program offer relapse prevention tools such as alumni groups or post-treatment counseling?

In addition, you should always consider the payment options that the treatment center offers. Make sure to check if your insurance is accepted and how much it will cover. If you do not have insurance, you should inquire about additional payment options like payment plans or scholarships. Additional issues to consider include how long the treatment will last, whether you need a teen or adult program, and even if you would be interested in a single- or mixed- gender program. Being proactive while choosing a treatment program based upon your specific needs will always improve your outcome. 


LGBT Counseling is Available 

Members of the LGBT community who suffer from substance abuse can find addiction treatment tailored to their specific needs. Additionally, receiving LGBT counseling will improve their overall recovering, making achieving long-term sobriety less complicated than it should be. If you or a loved one is in need of LGBT substance abuse counseling, do not hesitate. Call us today