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What Rehab Should I Go To In The LGBT Community?

Dr. Anna Pickering

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Anna Pickering

April 2, 2019

Being comfortable in treatment is a vital process in the addiction recovery process. For individuals in the LGBT community, it is important to find a rehab that fulfills your needs and provides a safe and supportive environment.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) individuals face a number of challenges that heterosexual individuals often never have experienced. These range from the pressure of coming out to one’s family and closest friends, to any form of everyday discrimination at the hands of strangers or the media. Confronted as they are with these daily stigmas and stressors, it should come as no surprise that LGBT individuals are statistically far more likely to suffer from substance abuse and addiction than are heterosexuals. Indeed, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, that number may be as high as 20-30 percent of the LGBT population, as compared to around 7 percent of the general population.

Trends Behind The Data

There is more than one driving force behind these statistics. One is that LGBT individuals are more likely to be in search of some sort of coping tool than are heterosexuals who (for the most part) don’t have to deal with the same level of discrimination. Another is that LGBT individuals may be more hesitant to enter a treatment program, for fear that they may find themselves stuck in a 30-day (or more) rehab stay with patients or even staff members who are intolerant of their sexual orientation. What’s worse, many LGBT individuals that do work up the courage to enter rehab, only to encounter precisely that kind of intolerance and discrimination.

To this end, LGBT individuals seeking to enter some form of drug rehab should know that there are treatment options that are tailored specifically to their unique situation.

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Choose The Right Facility For You

One factor to consider is exactly what makes a rehab center LGBT-friendly. For instance, some rehab facilities focus specifically on one set of the LGBT population (e.g. just lesbians, just gay men, or just transgender individuals), whereas others cast a wider net. Which one sounds like the best fit is up to you, but it’s important to know that LGBT rehab centers do sometimes differentiate themselves along these lines.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Another important question to keep in mind is what kind of treatment strategies the LGBT-friendly rehab center offers. One that may be especially useful for LGBT individuals is cognitive behavioral therapy.

Cognitive behavioral therapy seeks to treat any underlying anxieties and emotional stresses that may be causing the individual to turn to substance abuse in the first place. Many LGBT individuals have anxieties related directly to living in a world that has treated them with intolerance, even hate. Cognitive behavioral therapy fosters self-acceptance and self-affirmation, and seeks to shift the individual’s pre-programmed “coping” response away from drugs or alcohol in the event that such anxieties do reassert themselves.

Let Us Help You In Your Search

Ultimately, finding the right LGBT-focused rehab center for you comes down to the specifics of your situation. If you or a loved one is LGBT and is struggling with addiction, contact us today at so that we may help you in your search.

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