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21,Dec,2017

Are there LGBTQ staff members at an LGBTQ drug & alcohol rehab?

If there was ever a need for safe spaces, it’d be in drug and alcohol treatment facilities, where patients are asked to speak about the deepest secrets of their lives. Recovery depends on honesty, and that can only exist in an environment that not only accepts, but understands, its patients. LGBTQ addiction and relapse rates are higher than those of heterosexual patients or clients for excellent reasons: challenges like dysphoria and discrimination weigh heavily on the queer and trans community. Every challenge is a new point to add to your relapse prevention plan, so your choice of an LGBTQ facility could save your life and the comfort of knowing you will be among LGBTQ staff is essential.

The Numbers, The Lies, and What Lies In Between

Search the internet for LGBTQ addiction treatment, and you’ll find 400,000 Google results, but the truth is not as optimistic as it might seem. Only 8% of treatment services are tailored towards LGBTQ patients. Therapeutic teams needn’t be overtly discriminatory to muddy the waters of addiction care. The subtlest forms of othering have a dire effect on addicts at one of the most vulnerable times of their lives.

Your typical addiction team is populated by recovering addicts so that patients feel understood. The same principle should apply to LGBTQ status. Staff must be conversant in issues related to transphobia and homosexual discrimination, and adding a few trendy search engine keywords to a rehab website isn’t enough. Nor is a straight cisgendered team who has completed a six-week course in LGBT issues. You need staff that is competent enough to hold space for you as you explore your darkest moments and most harrowing struggles. Group therapy should not require you to confront heterosexual judgment. You have better odds at a rehab that is specific for LGBTQ patients—something that’s best achieved through an LGBTQ staff contingent.

Trans Patients and Therapeutic Barriers

  • Therapists must support clients to have their own experience if this is the first time they feel comfortable to explore and come out with the gender that they are rather then the gender that someone else labeled them at birth.
  • Drug & Alcohol treatment centers should understand that hormones for transgender clients is a human right and pertinent to an individual feeling comfortable in his, her or their own skin so they may actually start therapy.
  •  Family involvement and inclusion is recommended to mend relationships and create healthier family systems if the family is supportive of the client. Many conversations and growth should come out of family sessions, especially if the family has not yet started addressing clients by their correct name and pronoun. It takes experience and work to bring a family together to grow, stop enabling the addiction and empower their child, parent or sibling to live as who they are and not who someone else wants them to be.
  • Dysphoria’s impact on addiction must be confronted from a place of knowledge and support, so your best chance of success will be experienced in a rehab that has LGBTQIA staff with protocols, experience and knowledge. We are of the mindset that if a client has depression the psychiatrist prescribes medicine and if the client has gender dysphoria then hormones would serve as the helpful medicine.

Organizations such as WPATH and NALGAP guide LGBTQ addicts through the addiction industry safely. NALGAP specializes in addiction care for organizations. Not all of its recommended professionals are a part of the LGBT community, but it does work with allies to keep oppression out of care and help LGBTQ individuals to become happy, successful and comfortable members of society. WPATH is a global organization focused on the trans community. It offers membership to medical, therapeutic, and sociology workers. Its certifications are offered for extensive courses and exams. You won’t necessarily find non-binary identities on your team, but you will find educated allies.

An LGBTQ rehab will help you to integrate better into a peaceful life long after you leave your treatment facility. The last thing you should be worrying about as you recover is oppression from your counselors and fellow patients.

If you are LGBTQ or know someone who needs help in the LGBTQ community who needs help to escape addiction and find freedom on all levels, then call 561-899-6088 and speak with an LGBTQIA staff member today at Inspire Recovery today.

 

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