Gay Addiction Treatment Program: It’s about Time As addiction treatment programs have sprung up across the country, there has been a focus on many different substance abuse populations. We have numerous eating disorder programs for women, countless drug rehab programs for men, sex addiction and sexual trauma programs for both men and women, but what about the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender population? Where do they seek drug/alcohol treatment? Why are they continually expected to fit into the same “addiction treatment model” (heterosexual) that resembles the life model which created so much shame for them. Some would suggest they fit into a same-sex addiction treatment center, which is generally nothing more than a set up for relapse.
Drug Rehab Focus to Be Population Specific One of the major goals of any drug rehab is to create and environment where a patient can feel comfortable enough to be honest, can be treated with respect, dignity and not feel judged. Right or wrong, good or bad, history shows us that the gay and lesbian population is one that through the years has been criticized, ridiculed and misunderstood by the majority in the heterosexual community, the same community that makes up the majority of the population in an addiction treatment program. For this reason alone, the gay and lesbian population needs to have therapists that understand their specific needs, an environment that will affirm them as people and support them as they share their secrets of shame, humiliation and anger.
Addiction Treatment vs. the Real World Philosophically, a person’s last day in drug rehab, should resemble their first day in the real world. A person does not stay in a drug rehab program forever. That being said, an addiction treatment program does not have to be completely “gay friendly” to be effective treatment for a gay person. While, specific clinical activities, groups, lectures etc. need to be gay specific in order to create a safe space for them to communicate, it is also their responsibility to learn how to communicate effectively and live in the heterosexual world without turning to drugs or alcohol. As such, there is no better place to begin this transition than in the addiction treatment program, where a person can receive ongoing support from their therapist and peers.
RecoveryConnection.org offers additional information on gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender GLBT addiction treatment programs. You may also visit LakeviewHealth.com, an alcohol and drug rehab facility that offers a specialized addiction treatment for gays and lesbians. Alternatively, you can call 800-511-9225 for assistance.