According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), bisexual, gay, and transgender people have a much higher risk of developing mental health issues — including substance use disorders. Studies show that transgender adolescents are up to four times more likely to engage in addictive substance use than the general population and are twice as likely to have suicidal thoughts. Adults who identify as bisexual, gay, or lesbian are also more likely to drink alcohol, use illicit drugs, and smoke cigarettes.
These statistics point to society’s need for LGBTQ support services, especially when treating substance use disorders and maintaining addiction recovery. Searching for LGBTQ-inclusive sober living options in Austin, Texas? Contact Harmony Haus Sober Living today by calling 877.349.1544 or reaching out to our team online.
What Does LGBTQ Mean?
People often use LGBTQ+ — or simply LGBTQ — to mean all the communities included in the complete but ungainly LGBTTTQQIAA. The latter includes the following: lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, two-spirit, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, and ally.
The plus sign represents the communities that aren’t represented by initials: agender, bigender, pangender, pansexual, and any other gender variant. LGBTQ is the more commonly used term, possibly because it is more user-friendly.
What Is Included in LGBTQ Support Services?
Studies and research show that mental health treatment outcomes are similar for LGBTQ people who complete traditional addiction treatment programs and those who complete LGBTQ-specific programs. However, LGBTQ support services may still provide people with support and a level of comfort that could make their addiction treatment experience much better.
For example, a program that focuses on providing LGBTQ people additional support may include:
- A social environment that is safe and supportive of the LGBTQ lifestyle
- Mental health treatment to address issues such as social rejection after coming out, emotional abuse, stigmatization, sexual abuse or assault, and self-hatred
- Treatment for co-occurring disorders like anxiety, depression, or PTSD
- Treatment for health problems like HIV and Hepatitis C
- Separate facilities for LGBTQ people
- Staff members that understand and affirm LGBTQ addiction issues
Compared to heterosexuals, higher rates of LGBTQ people suffer from trauma caused by discrimination at school and work, family conflict, hate crimes, and stressful childhood experiences. These factors contribute to the development of substance use disorders and must be addressed in addiction treatment programs for LGBTQ clients.
Many addiction treatment providers also lack the experience and knowledge needed to address LGBTQ clients’ issues effectively. Sexual minorities need access to qualified treatment providers that offer LGBTQ-specific services to receive therapeutic care that encourages lasting results.
Why Is LGBTQ-Inclusive Sober Living Essential for Some Clients?
LGBTQ people may struggle to find sober living homes that meet their unique needs and address the challenges they face. The situation here is the same as it is in addiction treatment programs. The lack of LGBTQ support is a huge barrier that keeps many LGBTQ clients from getting the best treatment possible. LGBTQ-inclusive sober living options increase the number of safe spaces available for LGBTQ people in addiction recovery.
Addiction treatment programs and sober living houses for LGBTQ clients should differ from those offered to those who identify as straight. All clients in recovery should feel that their peers, sober coaches, and mentors understand the trauma and struggles they face in everyday life — not just as people struggling with addiction recovery but also as members of the LGBTQ community. Sober living programs designed with the LGBTQ community in mind provide a safe place where these experiences can be heard, understood, and respected.
LGBTQ sober living homes should provide the following:
- A safe and comfortable living environment
- Acceptance and support of the LGBTQ lifestyle
- Family involvement in helping heal old wounds and promote growth within the family unit
- Peer accountability from other LGBTQ clients in recovery
- Recovery support resources that emphasize life skills, behavioral therapy, and coping skills to help LGBTQ clients manage stress and trauma
- Staff members that understand and support LGBTQ issues
Ready To Learn More About Harmony Haus Sober Living’s LGBTQ Support Services?
If you’re looking for LGBTQ-inclusive sober living options in Austin, Texas, contact Harmony Haus Sober Living. Call 877.349.1544 or reach out to our team online.