According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, LGBTQ populations–which account for 4.3 percent of the U.S. population–are more likely than their straight counterparts to have a substance use disorder. They’re also more likely to seek help through a specialty facility that specializes in LGBT substance abuse treatment.

Why LGBT Substance Abuse Treatment?

Addiction almost always has underlying issues, which often include a history of trauma, mental illness, and chronic stress. LGBT populations are at a higher risk of mental illness than their sexual majority counterparts, with many struggling from depression due to issues that impact their wellbeing, including unsupportive family members and persecution or discrimination resulting from their sexual orientation.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration stresses that there are numerous pathways to recovery, and not everyone benefits from the same treatment modalities. LGBT drug treatment that addresses an individual’s unique issues and needs offers the best possible treatment outcomes. That’s because in some cases, an individual’s issues and needs stem from their sexual orientation. Engaging in treatment with other LGBT individuals who have experienced unique issues central to their sexual orientation, fought with similar negative emotions, and struggled with similar self-esteem and identity issues can help people better recover from a drug or alcohol addiction.

Group therapy is a major component of a high quality LGBT substance abuse treatment program. Group therapy with others in the LGBT community offers the opportunity to explore a variety of issues in a safe place without fear or shame. LGBT drug treatment provides a strong support system for LGBT individuals struggling with family issues, relationship problems, and identity crises as well as systemic oppression, discrimination, and other issues that many non-straight individuals face.

Residential vs. Outpatient Treatment

An LGBT residential treatment program may offer a better outcome than an outpatient program. Residential treatment is essential for those who have a long history of addiction, a co-occurring mental illness, or an unsafe or unstable living situation at home. A 90-day LGBT residential treatment program offers the highest level of support and the best possible treatment outcomes.

Outpatient treatment can also be successful, as long as an individual has a high level of motivation to recover, a stable and safe living situation, and a high level of support at home and in the community.

Choosing the Right Program

WhiteSands Treatment Center offers a high quality LGBT substance abuse treatment program to help you end your addiction for good and improve your life on all fronts. Any high quality program will take a holistic approach to treatment that includes both traditional and complementary therapies. Through a holistic treatment program at WhiteSands, individuals will:

  • Identify harmful thought and behavior patterns and replace them with healthier ways of thinking and behaving.
  • Identify a range of issues that contributed to the addiction and work through them in individual and group therapy.
  • Improve self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-awareness.
  • Develop a toolkit of skills and strategies to cope with stress, cravings, and other powerful relapse triggers.
  • Work to repair damaged relationships and restore function to the household.
  • Find purpose and meaning in a life without drugs or alcohol.
  • Learn how to relax and have fun without the need for substances.

A high quality program will use research-based treatment therapies and adhere to the industry’s best-practices as outlined by the National Institute on Drug Abuse in the Principles of Effective Treatment.

If you’re struggling with addiction and think LGBT drug treatment is the best option for you, contact WhiteSands today to get on the path to long-term recovery. In the process, you’ll gain a great deal of personal insight, improve your self-esteem, and enjoy a higher quality of life and sense of wellbeing.

If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.