LGBTQ Substance Abuse Treatment Centers in Los Angeles
Substance Abuse Challenges Among LGBTQ+ Community
Addiction is a complex disease that affects each person differently, and each person has various contributing factors that have impacted their ability to remain sober. The LGBTQ+ community experiences higher levels of substance abuse than any other group within society. This is mainly due to the high levels of discrimination and biases they encounter daily from others. When faced with adversity and judgment, many will look for ways to ease the feelings of hurt, rejection, or exclusion through the use of substances. To heal from the pains and depths of addiction, individuals must have a safe, inclusive space that offers a welcoming, judgment-free zone, which can be found at our LGBTQ substance abuse treatment centers in Los Angeles.
For many individuals within the LGBTQ community, accessing addiction treatment comes with its own set of barriers and challenges. There are comprehensive addiction treatment centers within the United States, but a staggeringly low number of addiction treatment centers are designed to support LGBTQ individuals. This often becomes a deterrent for individuals searching for support in removing their addiction. Without LGBTQ substance abuse treatment centers in Los Angeles, many face concerns that the environment within the treatment center will not be a safe place free of discrimination. When faced with judgment and disregard from others in day-to-day life, you become guarded and concerned about each environment you enter into. While you know that you want to get support for your addiction, your safety comes first, leaving many to opt out of attending a substance abuse treatment center.
LGBTQ+ Discrmination in Addiction Treatment
When looking at the continuum of discrimination that LGBTQ individuals face daily, it is easy to see how each aspect can affect one another and, ultimately, lead to addiction. LGBTQ individuals often feel discrimination within the health care system, employment, and housing sector. When you are denied access to these fundamental rights and human needs, many turn to substance use to manage the emotions and lessen the pain from these interactions. This often creates a vicious cycle of homelessness, lack of focus on health, poverty, and addiction.
Individuals within the LGBTQ community often feel excluded or unable to go to many places without feeling some level of discrimination. Very few places offer LGBT-friendly services, but there is one constant for inclusive services created for LGBT individuals, which is gay bars leaving many to drink more alcohol than they usually would.
Discrimination can come in many forms, and members of the LGBTQ community have faced multiple facets of biases and exclusion. It can be hard to deal with the negativity and judgment placed upon you, and knowing how to cope with it can often feel hopeless. Substance use can often feel like an easy solution to lessen the blow of discrimination and numb the pain or hurt you feel. Some of the most common forms of discrimination are as follows:
- Exclusion from social circles or events due to your sexual orientation or gender identity
- Rejection from family or friends after coming out
- Violence acts placed upon you due to your sexual or gender identity
- Employment loss or inability to get a job due to judgment of biases
- Loss of child custody
- Public discrimination causing embarrassment or harm such as hate crimes, public acts of exclusion, or judgment
- Physical abuse from partners or family members
LGBTQ substance abuse treatment centers in Los Angeles will emphasize healing from these levels of discrimination and the presenting addiction concerns. A standard addiction treatment center may not understand the impact that this daily occurrence of discrimination can have on someone and their ability to remain sober. At times, this may not even be addressed within substance abuse treatment. An LGBTQ substance abuse treatment center will provide a safe space to have an open dialogue about the impact of these hurtful actions and work with the patient to learn new coping strategies for future situations as well as build each patient’s ability to have self-love and acceptance.
Common Substances Abused by LGBTQ+ Population
Numerous substances are openly available to the public and cause individuals to develop a physical and emotional addiction too. The LGBTQ population often finds these five substances to be the most common occurrences within its demographics:
- Alcohol: The LGBTQ community sees between 20% to 30% of individuals struggling with moderate to severe drinking habits. Alcohol is commonly associated with LGBTQ-friendly places of establishment such as gay bars or clubs.
- Marijuana: Marijuana use is common among gay men. There are 3.5 times more gay men using marijuana than heterosexual men.
- Tobacco: The use of tobacco is highly prevalent within the LGBTQ community. The LGBTQ population uses tobacco more than 200 times more than the heterosexual community.
- Heroin: While the country is experiencing an ongoing opioid crisis, the LGBTQ community is at high risk as individuals within the LGBTQ are 9.5 times more likely to use heroin than heterosexual individuals.
- Methamphetamines: The use of meth has become a growing concern across the nation; individuals within the LGBTQ are not immune to this concern as LGBTQ-identifying individuals are 12.2 times more likely to engage in amphetamines than the heterosexual population.
Co-Occurring Disorders and Addiction in LGBTQ+ Community
Living in a world where you feel excluded and have fears about being open and out with who you are for fear of judgment or ridicule can significantly impact someone’s mental health. That is why many LGBTQ individuals facing addiction will often have a co-occurring mental health concern. Living with a dual diagnosis of addiction and mental health can create a vicious cycle of abuse as one tries to mitigate the severity of symptoms felt from mental health with the use of drugs or alcohol. The more someone tries to self-medicate with substances, the more at risk for quickly developing an addiction to their substance of choice.
LGBTQ individuals often experience the following emotional or mental health concerns coinciding with their substance use:
- Anxiety disorder
- Increased levels of stress
- Higher risk of suicidal tendencies or attempts
Individuals are often encouraged to participate in a dual diagnosis treatment program to effectively treat both co-occurring disorders. This treatment modality offers patients an opportunity to heal from their addiction by uncovering the driving force behind the addictive behaviors while also looking inward to understand how mental health impacts their substance use.
Through individual and group therapy sessions, patients will learn new life skills that will help them manage any potential triggers and avoid relapse behavior. Individuals will work with their therapists to work through their mental health concerns and learn new coping methods or manage side effects from their co-occurring disorder through alternative methods, including holistic or natural ways.
Substance Abuse Treatment Options
Providing a substance abuse treatment program that is effective and inclusive requires a comprehensive approach to treatment that considers the multiple factors that LGBTQ individuals face within their lives. This process often means the first step is establishing trust within each person. Many LGBTQ individuals have faced discrimination even within the health care system. Coming into an addiction treatment center may bring reservations and fears that discrimination in their past may happen again within rehab. To build safety and security within the program, it is essential that the therapy offered is person-centered and allows for each patient to lead the therapeutic process. This provides each patient with the respect and dignity to become open and vulnerable at their own speed, depending on their level of comfortability.
An LGBTQ substance abuse treatment center provides patients with an opportunity to remove themselves from their home environment and the discrimination from the outside world within an inpatient treatment program. Patients will be allowed to heal and be vulnerable within the safety and security of a treatment center with other LGBTQ peers and therapists. Through individual and group therapy sessions, patients will be able to gain self-acceptance and love along with a newfound sense of connection and support with peers in the treatment center.
Muse Offers LGBTQ Substance Abuse Treatment
Muse Treatment provides LGBTQ substance abuse treatment centers in Los Angeles that provide a genuinely unique approach to healing from addiction that honors each patient’s individuality and need for a safe, inclusive space. The staff team of men and women offers a culture of empowerment and support as patients embark on the healing transformation of sobriety. Your story with addiction matters, and each patient deserves to have an equal chance of healing and personal growth. The compassionate team at Muse Treatment is waiting to hear from you today to answer any questions you may have. Call our LGBTQ substance abuse treatment centers in Los Angeles at (800) 426-1818 to begin creating an individualized treatment plan that will put you in the right direction to healing from addiction and moving into a life of sobriety and health.