All posts by Donna Weinberger

Trans Experience LGBTQI Focused Addiction Rehab Vogue

“Vogue” – Impoverished Women of Color & Trans Experience – My 1st Glimpse of Me

The basic human need to be watched was once satisfied by God.

In 1990 Madonna released her single “Vogue”. A window into a microcosm was opened for mainstream society peering at a staple and genius solely invented by the LBGTQ community. 1991’s Jennie Livingston’s documentary film “Paris is Burning” was the first time I witnessed a representation of people I found myself in and as a questioning teen it was the first time I found the language for what I was. I don’t know if I would have found the bravery to pursue my authenticity and my true being had I not stumbled upon this work of art in the seventh grade. I find it utterly inspiring and miraculous these impoverished women of color and the trans experience were able to create decadence and their own tribal system in the shadow of the age of Ronald Reagan and the dawn of Donald Trump. Embracing their femininity and awakening their empowerment through movement and dance.

The Trans Experience That Showed Me Who I Am

A universal safe space of celebration and unity was established in the Ball house scene. For people who were forced to live anonymously and in the shadows the Ball scene provided a place of sanctuary and encouragement to be who you are and using your talents and aesthetics that were otherwise rejected and ridiculed to compete and transcend the pains of everyday living experienced by trans and queer people. The goal being to accentuate one’s own femininity or masculinity, based on being able to blend and adapt within outside hetero-normative culture or in over the top lavish displays of  sensuality, sexuality, and sassiness. One of the aspects of humanity I find most fascinating is the undying need and wish to be witnessed. It’s the essence of all the arts and a driving force into finding our purpose here on Earth.

It saddens me that outside of the LBGTQ community this part of history isn’t valued, and these complex multi faceted creative ingenuities have been crunched up spit out and lumped into only being perceived as drag queens. For the first time in the history of media however, Ryan Murphy has produced a television Series titled “Pose” which centers around five trans women played by trans women navigating 1980’s NYC and the ball scene. It’s my hope that this is the first step in reflecting the lives of trans woman to the general public in a way that let’s us be seen as human rather than something to be tokenized and gawked at.

Do I Drink Too Much Alcohol-LGBTQI

Do I drink too much alcohol?

Perhaps you have found yourself wondering, do I drink too much alcohol? Chances are if you are questioning your drinking habits, there is a problem. Alcohol has ingrained itself in LGBTQ social culture as a mainstay at get-togethers, clubs, and functions. It is easy to develop a problem with alcohol without realizing it before it’s too late.

The Facts

According to a government publication focused on drug and alcohol consumption of members of the LGBTQ community, sexual minorities are more likely to participate in binge drinking consisting of up to and over 5 drinks at once. Studies show that the percentages range anywhere from 20% to 30% higher than in the heterosexual population.

Many factors contribute to these statistics including family and personal relationships and cultural norms. If you feel that you are developing an alcohol problem, know that you are not alone. Alcohol addiction affects a high number of people belonging to the LGBTQ community. Fortunately, there are programs that specialize in treating drug and alcohol addiction affecting people belonging to the LGBTQ community.

The Signs

What are some of the factors that have you asking, do I drink too much alcohol? Beware of some of the following signs of a developing alcohol problem:

  • Drinking Daily
  • Consuming more than 3 drinks at once regularly
  • A need to drink when with friends
  • Binge drinking (5 or more drinks)
  • Loss of memory after drinking

If you have noticed any of these behaviors, it may be time to seek help. Alcohol addiction is a serious problem that can not only affect your health, but it can also create legal issues or even cause a wreck or other injury to you or someone else.

Seek Help

There is a professional facility that specializes in assisting in the recovery process for LGBTQ members. Inspire Recovery has highly trained, caring staff that is sensitive to the needs of our LGBTQ community members, and are committed to your well-being and recovery. Contact us today and look forward to a brighter tomorrow.

Gay Men Crystal Meth Addiction Rehab

Should I go to Rehab for my Crystal Meth Addiction?

Finding a rehab for a crystal meth addiction that will meet your unique needs as a member of the LGBTQ community can help you get clean and sober and stay that way.

I can’t stop doing meth. Should I go to a crystal meth rehab if I’m addicted?

The short answer? Yes. Treatment at a crystal meth rehab can help you kick this dangerous drug and get your life back on track.

Should I seek a recovery program tailored to LGBTQ people?

Again, yes. LGBTQ addiction and relapse rates are higher than those of heterosexuals. Members of the LGBTQ community face challenges like discrimination because of the way society views gender dysphoria, various gender expressions, and same-sex relationships. For these reasons, a crystal meth rehab with an LGBTQ staff can help you address your specific needs in a safe and comfortable therapeutic environment.

Which types of treatment are available in a crystal meth rehab?

A Day/Night program, much like a partial hospitalization (PHP) program, provides a high level of care for people in early recovery. Within the first 30 days, relapse is likely and this type of program will give your mind and body a chance to stabilize and help you avoid engaging in high-risk behaviors. This period of treatment is a time to assess your condition and come up with a treatment plan that will work for you. 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.

An Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) involves a total of nine or more hours of addiction education and structured counseling services three days a week. IOP includes individual therapy sessions, group therapy with other members of the LGBTQ community who are struggling with addiction, as well as psychiatric care, art therapy, holistic programs and nutritional counseling.

In an Outpatient Program, the amount of individual counseling and group therapy sessions you receive will vary, depending on your individual needs. With a strong foundation of coping skills that have been learning in previous treatment, being involved in the recovery community and a 12-step program or other recovery fellowship can give you the support you need to stay sober. Learning how to live a healthy lifestyle is essential, and an LGBT crystal meth rehab can help you learn how to put what you’ve learned into practice.

Pick up the phone and call our admissions department today to discuss how you can receive help at 561-899-6088.

LGBTQ Addiction Help

Is There LGBTQ Addiction Help Available?

Yes, we have LGBTQ addiction help at Inspire Recovery

The LGBTQ community is known for having a heightened level of addition beyond what people outside of the community experience. For more information, you may look at some statistics on the SAMHSA website*. After all, having to live in a world that does not respect you can hurt a lot. Fortunately, LGBTQ addiction help is available and you can get better, no matter how far down the path of addiction you may have fallen.

Getting Out

When you are in an environment that gives you feelings that are hard to deal with, this is when you are at the highest risk of using. Even if you are feeling fine at the moment, the wrong kind of people tend to be in toxic areas. The easy way to fall into active addiction or keep the cycle going is “just this once,” or that it is just “having a little fun.” It never stays fun in a toxic environment.

One problem that the LGBTQ community has in common with cisgendered* hetero-people is that the world is full of well-hidden toxic places. Getting out of one and into a more caring environment is often the first step to recovery.

Being Out

A traditional problem of LGBTQ people is that counseling requires you to be completely honest, and sometimes there is unspoken judgment. Particularly in traditional religious types of recovery centers, you can feel and you may actually be treated like a bad person just because you are part of the LGBTQ community. Coming out to the wrong people can start a whole new cycle of fear, anger and intolerance that can make using seem like the most sane option.

Help is available from counselors who are part of, or allies to, the LGBTQ community. These are people who care and who will not judge you for being who you naturally are. Real acceptance is a major part of healing the pains inside yourself, so the outer manifestation of using does not happen again.

Staying Out

The hardest part of any recovery is that it never endsan addict is an addict for life. However, you can build a better set of habits and beliefs that are more likely to keep you clean and sober for the long haul. It is never too late, no matter how bad things may seem. One place to get help from people who will not judge you is Inspire Recovery. Contact Inspire today, and start getting the help you need to live a life free of your addictions.

A Couple of Terms Used in this Article: 
*SAMHSA is the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and they have excellent resources for people supporting LGBTQ clients in addiction treatment centers.

*Cisgender refers to a person whose gender corresponds to their birth sex. Because a person’s sexual anatomy does not always relate to their gender identity, terms like cisgender help to distinguish LGBTQ individuals, no matter what their sexual orientation is. That is to say that not all trans people are gay and not all cisgender people are straight. Gender identity is completely separate from sexual orientation and one does not dictate the other.

LGBTQIA Housing Rehab & Roomates

Who do I Room with if I am an LGBTQIA Addict or Alcoholic?

One might ask how exactly housing accommodations are regulated in an LBGTQIA-specific treatment facility for an LGBTQIA addict or alcoholic. I was lucky enough to have been a resident of Inspire Living for a little over a year and I can say with conviction it was overall the best living quarters I have experienced while attending rehab.

As a trans woman, previous institutions found the solution to my nature in putting me in a solitary room. While this did provide some comfort I believe it was counterproductive because rehab probably should not be comfortable. Being given an opportunity to isolate and not interact with others isn’t exactly a positive health choice in early recovery.

While at Inspire I had several roommates whom also identified as women and many of whom were trans. I’m grateful to have had the comradery and community of not only other women in recovery but women who were also within the trans-experience. I’m still in regular contact with one of my past roommates from Inspire Living, who I consider to be my best friend. I believe the staff geared matching people upon reading a vibe rather than what was between their legs. I truly benefited from this self-affirming Kinsey Scale approach, having been subjected to isolation and living with men in treatment in the past.

Living in treatment or a halfway house can be an emotional roller coaster. People come and go, your personal baggage is dumped out, you laugh, you cry, argue over dishes. In hindsight, I certainly took some of my time for granted. It is really something else when you have a surrogate family of individuals who can relate to not only being desperate and addicted but also oppressed and persecuted. I would say that living in a house with all the contrasting shades of human expression and individuality was certainly never boring and very refreshing.

If you are suffering from drugs and alcohol and part of the LGBTQIA community, I strongly suggest you give Inspire Recovery a call at 561-899-6088.

LGBTQI Focused Addiction Rehab

Why Are LGBTQIA Focused Addiction Rehabs Vital to Recovery?

My war with addiction began when I was 12 years old. After moving to Florida and hitting puberty I was faced with an onslaught of feelings and ailments I didn’t know had a name, let alone how to cope with them in daily life. I now know I was suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and what is known as Gender Dysphoria. I started taking Xanax to medicate myself and coast through life and didn’t look back for 8 years.

My first experience in an institution, I was 15 years old. I was not living as my authentic self at that time and drifted in and out of the mental health care system and substance abuse programs for years. I felt like a ghost in a shell  and wasn’t able to properly heal myself, not knowing who I was. When I was 21 I entered a treatment facility for the first time identifying as female. After an exasperated quarrel with both the facility and my insurance company they agreed to put me in a private room in the senior facility. The treatment center felt as though staying with my peers would be too high risk for me. I find that notion completely ridiculous. As if staying with a bunch of detoxing baby boomers in an isolated chamber would be a productive safety net? This unfortunately was the only half-assed measure taken to accommodate me as a transgender client. My time in treatment was not actually spent tackling my issues with addiction. I spent so much time explaining myself and who I was in the context of being Trans that I had no energy left and certainly didn’t have the trust needed to divulge any part of my wounded self in therapy. A facilitator even made a sidebar comment on how I could make more of an effort and put on makeup if I wanted to be addressed properly. I was in the midst of detoxing from opiates, benzodiazepines, amphetamines and alcohol. My insides and outsides were falling out and off. Make up wasn’t exactly a priority.

I developed an almost impenetrable set of defense mechanisms to tolerate constantly being pigeon holed and dehumanized. It came as no surprise that I relapsed shortly after being discharged and continued to downward spiral. Luckily I made it back and discovered Inspire Recovery, where I cultivated my longest period of sobriety. An LBGTQI focused environment allowed me to get the breathing space I desperately needed to get my shit together. The sense of community and acceptance was essential in healing. I could actually carry out conversations with people without a raised eyebrow or calling my entire being into question. It was truly a breath of fresh air and a blessing. I came to truly appreciate my experience there a year later after a brief relapse and stint in another facility.

And now, here’s what it was like at another facility. The residency there was enforced by a religious zealot who would lock me out of the bathroom and find other creative ways to degrade and silence me. I became unhinged and reactive. I smashed a dresser in my room. I subsequently was removed and committed to a lock-down psych unit where i was administered haldol without my consent and was taken off my hormone regiment. Thankfully due to the dedication of my family and sober supports I was rescued and sent to another LBGTQI oriented treatment center that could actually help me. This dark period really taught me not to take things for granted, especially my time at Inspire. The importance of education in gender studies and an all inclusive environment is completely vital to treating a case like me and I hope for a future where the marginalized of the marginalized can be less, well marginalized.

non-binary drug alcohol rehab

Is there a drug and alcohol rehab for people who identify as non-binary?

Identifying non-binary, may make the struggle with chemical dependency that much more difficult due to starting life in the social construct of a binary world. It can seem impossible to find non-binary drug & alcohol rehab to suit your needs. Fortunately, there is a rehab center that has a space for all genders, both non-binary and binary.

Added Pressures

Being part of the LGBTQ community imposes a lot of pressures from outside social establishments. It is perfectly common to have a difficult time having your identity constantly questioned because you don’t identify by the strict two binary genders of male or female.   It is common to not find members of the medical profession who really understand the situation you have been in your whole life. Often, going into a treatment facility that claims to help with your recovery ends up being in an environment where they try to enforce hetero-normative and cis-gender ideologies on you, which can hinder your recovery.

An Inclusive Culture

When you search for a non-binary drug & alcohol rehab center, you are also searching for a culture who understands you. Much of the world sees things from its own perspective, that of a majority view that you may not fit into. Instead of enforcing conformity, the right kind of treatment center focuses on helping you work with who you are and what you really want out of life. This is not a fairytale world, as this culture actually exists in an LGBTQIA inclusive and culturally aware rehabilitation center, Inspire Recovery in South Florida. In fact, this is the mainstream culture at Inspire. It’s so mainstream that stepping outside of Inspire, the binary world becomes hard to comprehend that it is the majority reality.

Professionals Who Understand

There was a time not so long ago when medical professionals considered natural differences from the social contructs to be mental illness. There is still a stigma in much of society that can permeate even the minds of professional counselors and psychologists. Fortunately, there are professionals in the at Inspire who specialize in non-binary drug & alcohol rehab because this is desperately needed in the community. Help is available, and a better life can start by picking up the phone and calling 561-899-6088..

Treating the Underlying Problems

One of the most common reasons anyone uses alcohol or drugs is because it is an escape. For a time, you can forget about the world you live in. But there is another way and you can treat the underlying problems you have been running from, so you no longer have to use. Feeling better in the real way is both possible and available. Even if you have given up hope of finding a non-binary drug & alcohol rehab, it is here waiting for you to get help.

Where is the T in LBGT - Inspire Recovery

Exclusivity in an “All inclusive community” Where is the “T” in LBGT?

There is an old saying which goes “you aren’t counted in until someone counts you.”

It begs the question, who exactly is the one pointing the finger and counting? In 2018 the spotlight on the power structures in America has never been brighter. Our very own president is an outspoken, brash tyrannical criminal who has unapologetically declared a war on all marginalized individuals. And he sports a bad spray tan. So how do these mechanisms and power structures play out in the smaller scope?

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist. White men have seated the throne in our world for centuries. They are born with a brass ring before their feet even touch the ground. Anything feminine in our society is deemed weak, bleak, sexy or dispicable, and totally exploitable, It would only make sense that an individual relinquishing the title of a man and walking into the role of a woman would be mercilessly persecuted. Why? Because it fucks with the status quo. It’s a glitch in the system. A wrench in the engine. It can’t be marketed, or capitalized on in the current state of our world.

In my experience as a Trans woman I have been the target of many assaults, verbally and physically.

My very existence is put up for a line of questioning I never signed up for, let alone cared for. I’m not a hot topic. I’m simply a 23 year old woman surviving. I personally don’t feel as though I am a member of the LBGT community. And I know many other T girls don’t either. The microaggressions we face by the victors of the equality battle are countless. I’m talking about gay men. It only makes sense. And it’s no one’s fault in particular, it’s all of ours. We’re all forced to participate in this patriarchal design in one way or another. Guilt is apart of the human condition. Fortunately so is justice.

I personally don’t have time for pettiness. I don’t want to be used as a prop to deepen the pockets of any corporate CEO in a suit. It’s irrelevant to me who they choose to sleep with. Unfortunately I believe this is the scenario at many LBGT community events, centers, fundraisers. It’s a tired way of being. Trans women are remarkably underpaid (if paid at all) and mistreated. There’s a barbed wire fence we have to climb over to receive any shred of dignity or respect. I don’t care if I’m pretty enough, if I am passing, I don’t care about what surgeon to go to, and I don’t care who thinks I’m a slut. I’m more interested in just being and pushing even a small fraction of change.

As I said earlier justice is also apart of the human condition.

I think that is going to take a lot of uncomfortable conversations. Men, gay or straight have an aversion to being uncomfortable. We have spoiled them. And they have neglected us, conditioned us as women to stay in this uncomfortable hopeless place. To accept it as ourselves and repeatedly nurture our own wounds. They essentially unconsciously or not love having us as the perfect victims. when someone else has less on their plate it means someone has more. The more Trans people are able and encouraged to speak candidly on their experiences, without the pressure of kissing ass, the more we embrace uncomfortability as a sign of growing, that is the only way we can push forward to a resolution in equality. That has to start with on our own community. Or else its bound to fall apart.

LGB Addiction Rehab Training

If I’m LGB do I Need Training to Work in a LGBTQI Addiction Rehab?

The LGB addition rehab industry is filled with challenges of many kinds. Being non-traditional and often rejected by family members and friends, the LGBTQI community is frequently prone to addiction to a higher extent than heteronormative and cisgendered individuals. Receiving training in addition rehab as well as working with the LGB community is beneficial to all involved.

Being Part of the Community

Being a part of the LGBTQI community does provide you with a solid perspective of how the community as a whole feels. However, being part of the community only prepares you for part of the issue these individuals may be facing. As the old saying goes, the more you learn, the less you know. This means that as your knowledge base and training increase, you begin to understand more of the limitations of your own knowledge. It is far easier for someone who has learned some aspects of the community’s challenges to believe they know more than they do, than for someone better trained and more experienced to carry on such a belief.

How Training Adds Value

The better trained you are, the better you will be able to help other members of the LGBTQI community to work with their addictions and functionally overcome them. No matter what the addiction may be, it is important to remember that no one is ever truly over it. Rather like with deep emotional traumas of all kinds, one simply has to learn to live with what one has inside. As you receive training, you begin to realize ways you can help others to cope with their problems. At the same time, it is likely you will discover challenges within yourself that you will need to reckon with.

Dealing With the Causes

Training will reveal to you many of the underlying causes of addiction, as well as ways to work with these problems. The likelihood of recovery for anyone in any community is very low because many people never address the real reasons why they use their drugs of choice. When a person begins to admit to, honor and work with the underlying problems they are trying to self-medicate, they have a much higher likelihood of going into recovery and staying there for life. The elements of forgiving oneself and others and learning self-love are universal, whether in the LGBTQI community or otherwise. Your training can be their road to recovery.

LGBTQ Staff work at LGBT rehab

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.