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Find Safe Harbor At An LGBT Drug Rehab Center

by Stella Robinson

As a member of the LGBT community -- encompassing people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender -- you are nervous about being admitted to a drug rehab center that doesn't focus on persons of your sexual orientation and the relevant problems you face. You're also concerned about the prejudices other patients might have against you. Fortunately, there are increasing numbers of options for those who would prefer an LGBT rehab center.

Chemical Dependency in the LGBT Population

You may not be aware that drug and alcohol abuse rates are higher in the LGBT community than they are in the heterosexual population. This might be expected, since many of these persons do not have a strong support base among their family and the friends they made before identifying as LGBT. They may suffer from shame, guilt, depression and anxiety, and find that drug use eases those feelings. Drug use also may help them avoid effectively dealing with their sexuality. 

The types of drugs these individuals use and abuse runs the gamut. When you enter a treatment facility, you will likely have peers who are dealing with the same chemical dependency issues you are. 

Advantages of LGBT Drug Rehab Centers

The counselors are skilled and experienced at helping individuals who identify as LGBT and are ready to begin their recovery from substance abuse. You'll have regular meetings with your counselor and begin to unravel the reasons you turned to drug use, while also learning strategies to avoid relapse once you leave the facility. 

You'll spend time in structured group therapy sessions with your peers and have time for socializing in a variety of structured activities. During all these activities, you won't need to fear prejudicial attitudes and antagonism toward people of your sexuality.  

During one-on-one counseling and group therapy, you'll have the chance to learn how you can:

  • effectively respond to people who are homophobic
  • repair relationships with estranged relatives and friends
  • build new, healthy relationships that don't involve drugs or alcohol
  • manage your negative emotions without using mind-altering substances
  • avoid relapse when you feel pressure from your peers who use drugs and alcohol

What Can You Do Now?

Seek out a drug treatment center that provides a safe harbor for persons of your sexuality. Don't shy away from getting help. There are many programs intended for individuals dealing with your combination of circumstances, where you can feel accepted and secure. For example, you can check out the drug rehab center at http://www.olalla.org to see if they offer a welcome and safe environment for members of the LGBT community.