Substance abuse is indiscriminate. It knows no race, creed, physical ability or sexual orientation. You could have a history of addiction in your family or none at all. Addiction can hit anyone at any time. However, none are harder hit than the LGBTQ+ community. Almost 9 percent of the general population are addicted to drugs. However, between 20 and 30 percent of the LGBTQ+ population suffer from addiction.
The choice to come out may be a difficult one, but the process of coming out never ends. When you are living a life that does not fit into the "mainstream" heterosexual paradigm, discrimination can become a part of your daily lives. That kind of daily strife can wear on a person and can open the door to unhealthy ways of coping, such as self-medicating with various forms of drugs that can lead to lifelong addiction. If you find yourself in search of a rehab facility or counselor, here are some helpful things to keep in mind.
Chances are you have already gone through the process of finding a primary care doctor that is friendly to the LGBTQ+ community and caters to your specific needs. Use them as a jumping-off point for your research into counselors, therapists and treatment facilities.
The most important thing for absolutely anyone is that they ultimately find someone, or somewhere you feel comfortable. Recovery can only happen when you feel comfortable enough to let down your guard and open up to the facilitator of your treatment.
As stated before, coming out is an ever occurring process. You will come out to many people over the course of your life, and it is important to come out to your therapist and facility as well. The LGBTQ+ community has unique needs and letting them know ahead of time can help them treat you and allow you to gauge their reaction to seeing if they are friendly and open to you.
Don't be afraid to ask questions of the provider. At this point, you should feel at ease with them to ask what you feel you need to know that is specific to your situation. Do they regularly treat LGBTQ+? How do they cater their treatment to members of your community? How many LGBTQ+ people do you currently have in residence? Being an LGBTQ+ community member and an addict doesn't have to be a daunting task. With the right amount of tenacity applied to your commitment to recovery, you can find a situation that is helpful and understanding of your unique position. Everyone deserves to recover in a safe, healthy and compassionate environment. If you or someone you love is searching for help, please take the time to visit Freedom from Addiction and check out our resources, we're here to help.
Sydney DeZinnois a writer from Tucson, AZ. A graduate of the University of Arizona, she an active advocate that is passionate about addiction recovery and helping those in crisis.
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