Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning (LGBTQ) patients often face more social stigma, discrimination, risk of abuse, and social challenges than heterosexuals with substance use disorders, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).
These additional challenges can lead to increased risks of rejection, harassment, and violence and, in turn, a greater possibility of trauma-related behavioral health issues.
To meet these needs, some addiction treatment programs, including La Hacienda, provide designated support services for LGBTQ individuals.
La Hacienda’s addiction treatment program is augmented by LGBTQ services which address–in supportive environments–these patients’ unique challenges including depression, anxiety, and stigma-induced judgement.
LGBTQ services offer access and education via additional individual and group support sessions which help LGBTQ individuals understand how issues like past experience, internalized shame, trauma-bonding, self-destructive cultural norms, and gender identity can impact their lives. La Hacienda creates a safe sober community, in a supportive, non-judgmental recovery setting.
Together, LGBTQ patients look for ways they can address past incidents, improve their recovery and well-being, and make connections with LGBTQ individuals who have successfully completed the recovery journey.
As a trauma-informed program, La Hacienda seeks to provide a safe environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and other minority sexual orientation patients.
This includes a staff who are trained in the principles of trauma-informed care including safety, trustworthiness and transparency, peer support, collaboration and mutuality, empowerment, and awareness of the civil and human rights background of gender identity equality issues.
Upon admission, each patient at La Hacienda undergoes a thorough assessment. The result is a treatment plan designed to meet their specific needs. If a patient identifies as LGBTQ, their care strategy will reflect how they identify for gender and any co-occurring issues.
As patients complete treatment, staff work with them to prepare a continuing care plan for the months after their residential therapy.
“For many in the LGBT community, trauma not only results from childhood physical and sexual abuse but also from internalized homophobia, cultural heterosexism, and gay bashing,” says a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) resource on substance abuse treatment for LGBTQ people.
La Hacienda offers trauma therapy in supportive environments for patients, including the following.
LGBTQ populations disproportionately experience more mental health and substance use disorders, and suicidal thoughts compared to their heterosexual peers, according to medical research.
There is evidence that substance use patterns of LGBTQ people differ from those reported by heterosexual adults.
In 2020, approximately 41.3 percent of LGBTQ adults (18 and older) told the National Survey on Drug Use and Health they used marijuana during the year, compared to 18.7 percent of the overall adult population. Misuse of opioids was reported by approximately 6.7 percent of LGBTQ adults in the same year compared to 3.6 percent of the overall adult population.
Two on-staff psychiatrists are available to meet on request with patients to discuss mental health issues and provide professional advice. Select counselors work with patients who ask to receive LGBTQ services.
As with anyone suffering from addiction, gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people sometimes seek help.
If you have family members or friends who are fighting addiction and need an intervention, the La Hacienda admission staff has a list of vetted crisis intervention and suicide prevention professionals from which they can recommend assistance.
Having grown up as an LGBTQ youth can be one of the complicating factors for an adult patient. La Hacienda’s Family Program, a three-day on-campus event, is designed to help patients’ parents and relatives better understand their loved one or person’s substance use disorder and complicating issues.
Parents, siblings, and partners may participate in the program which includes lectures by physicians and counselors experienced in addiction. Participants’ education also involves communication exercises designed to make them more effective in listening, understanding, and transmitting information.
Through the program, families gain awareness and resources in how to be involved in supporting their patients through recovery, and to help them avoid relapse.
The Family Program usually takes place during the patient’s third week at la Hacienda. If family members are unable to participate in the family program while their loved one is at La Hacienda, they can do the program in person or online later.
The SAMHSA website provides links where one may find resources for LGBTQ youth and adults, including access to suicide prevention services.
SAMHSA advocates for LGBTQ national and state-level policies which improve mental health care for minority sexual orientation people in communities across the country.
SAMHSA also provides a list of professional training resources in an effort to support the improved health of LGBTQ young people, young adults, and adults.
The LGBT National Help Center offers chat space for LGBTQ young people, providing confidential peer-support, information, local resources and community resources.
La Hacienda believes in treating the whole person. We address addiction and alcoholism as well as mental health, co-occurring disorders, and physical abilities. If you or a loved one are looking for the right addiction treatment center that welcomes all with an open heart, call us and begin your access to the right community and programs.