In the world of recovery, there are many different kinds of treatment and rehabilitation centers that cater to the various communities in today's society. For many years there were treatment centers that were strictly men's programs, or women's program, some specializing in eating disorders, dual diagnosis, or sex and love addiction. But what about the LGBT (Lesbian gay bisexual transgendered) community? Studies have shown that LGBT individuals are two to three times more likely to experience drug addiction than heterosexuals. This in part can be due to the shame or discrimination that many gays and lesbians endure throughout the process of their lives. Luckily state of the art gay friendly drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers and sober livings are popping up all over the country, providing a safe haven for the LGBT community.
One of the most important aspects in treatment is making sure that the client feels safe in their environment. In return this allows for the client to feel comfortable being open and honest with their feelings throughout the recovery process. Traditional drug and alcohol programs where the majority of the population is heterosexual can make members of the LGBT health community feel reluctant to share and open up about private and personal information from their past. This in part can be due to past experiences where they may have endured various forms of homophobia, prejudice, and judgment. Studies have shown that in these facilities condescending remarks and judgmental attitudes from heterosexual patients and/or staff members can stunt a person's growth and prevent them from learning as much as possible from their treatment experience. In addition, sometimes the professionals working in treatment centers do not have personal experience or extensive knowledge in regards to certain aspects and issues of the gay community. This can cause a disconnect between the professional and the client, leaving the client unwilling to fully engage in their recovery.
Throughout their lives, many gays and lesbians have had difficult experiences regarding homophobia and discrimination. This can cause various forms of shame and depression and may have been the catalyst of what caused them to turn to drugs or alcohol in the first place. It seems that the best method for treating addiction is by participating in a treatment plan that is as complimentary to the person's own personal lifestyle. It is important that LGBT individuals are able to make friends and contacts with other sober gay and lesbians so that they may create a support team of peers that fully understands them. Treatment centers that cater to the gay and lesbian community provide clients to see and understand that their sexual orientation is nothing to be ashamed of but rather something to embrace. These facilities provide a safe atmosphere where they can feel comfortable to be open and honest, giving them maximum potential to be successful in leading a happy, sober, and substance free life.