Category Archives: LGBTQ Advocacy & News

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.

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.

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.

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.

 

LGBTQ-Human Rights

Raising the Bar on Equality

 

Inspire-Recovery-safe_space

There are over 14,000 treatment centers in the United States, helping individuals overcome drug and alcohol addiction and start a new life.

A life in recovery from addiction looks and feels fairly different from person-to-person. In a very positive way, an Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meeting (or any other 12 Step meeting for that matter) will generally be an environment of economic and social diversity—expressing the truth that addiction is blind and effects people of all classes, races, religions, genders and sexualities.

However, someone who is a high-powered business person may have a different experience in early recovery than someone who has perpetually found it difficult to secure employment. Similarly, someone who is a part of the LGBTQ community may also have a different experience in early recovery than someone who is heterosexual. Why is that?

The simple answer is, we live in a hetero-biased society. One that favors hetero relationships and gender binaries. In 29 states in the US, it is legal to discriminate against those whose gender and/or sexual orientation is outside the heteronormative lifestyle.

Heteronormative speaks of the experience of heterosexuals and cisgender individuals (those whose gender identity is aligned with their biological sex assigned at birth) as “normal.” This very silenced, yet normalized, state of our society leaves a lot of opportunity for discrimination, bullying and jeopardizes a person’s self-esteem.

Experiencing discrimination on any level can be a root cause of addiction, similarly to those who have experienced trauma at any age in their lives.

How Silence Perpetuates Discrimination

HRC-LGBT-Youth-BullyingEach person has experiences that can negatively shape their lives and draw them into drug or alcohol addiction, however, studies show that LGBTQ youth are a higher risk of addiction than non-LGBTQ teens.

The challenges an LGBTQ youth faces include but are not limited to – bullying at school, rejection from family and friends, sexual harassment and sexual assault.

Homelessness LGBTQ youth encompasses nearly half of the homeless youth population. The Human Rights Campaign states that “26 percent of LGBTQ youth say their biggest problems are not feeling accepted by family, trouble at school/bullying, and a fear of being out/open. 22 percent of non-LGBTQ youth say their biggest problems are trouble with class exams and grades.”

In the recovery/treatment world, it is extremely important that we understand and accept that discrimination has consistently been a part of our American society and that it is a root cause of addiction. A person’s race continues to be the most targeted group of individuals who experience hate crimes in the US. The next most targeted population is the LGBTQ community.

There are many people in America, especially those drawn to the field of social work and therapy, including addiction counseling, who work hard to support individuals process and heal from the effects of discrimination, bullying and bigotry. However, there is no denying that more progress must be made in order for every person to feel safe in their community.

For those of us who have zero tolerance for discrimination, there is an imperative need and responsibility to speak up when we see and hear prejudice. Our silence can be just as harmful as the words and actions of the oppressive mindsets of others. Together we can change the environments we live and work by standing up for what we believe in.

Hate-Free-ZoneIn the treatment industry, equality has to be discussed on a clinical level for all staff members to be prepared to address the language and behavior that can trigger a client to feel unsafe.

At Inspire Recovery, we focus on providing an environment that positively supports zero tolerance of bullying behavior. Our staff is trained on cultural awareness, team building exercises happen on a monthly basis, diversity among our staff is a priority and discussing any issues around discrimination occurs at the leadership level.

When the leadership team is committed to equality, the work environment is strengthened by the underlining transparency that invites all employees to speak up when anything inappropriate is seen or heard.

In a facility where discrimination is not discussed, clients might use inappropriate language to “get a rise” out of their peers or the staff. If the situation is not addressed, a client’s harmful behavior can leave a lasting impression on those vulnerable to offensive behavior.

Sometimes joking around is a form of bullying and can go unnoticed or unreported. There are times when a client may not know who their allies are, and may decide to leave a facility that does not appear to prioritize their emotional safety or address discriminatory behavior when it arises. It is through our silence that we maintain systemic racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia and forms of religious intorance.

Lead the Way in Raising the Bar on Equality

Love-Wins-LGBTQ-Equal-RightsIf you are an employee at a treatment center and are interested in discussing cultural awareness with your co-workers, you can invite Inspire Recovery to come for a free visit. We will bring our LGBTQ Cultural Awareness presentation and provide time for a Q & A.

It is our mission to help increase LGBTQ cultural awareness and sensitivity within the treatment industry. We feel confident in doing community outreach that allows us to discuss equality and maintaining an anti-discrimination environment at treatment centers. We are committed to breaking the silence around discrimination and hope to inspire others to stand up and speak out anytime inappropriate language or behavior is witnessed. #LOVEWINS