Drug addiction can affect anyone regardless of their age, gender, or sexual orientation. However, not all treatment centers are willing or able to treat an individual who identifies as transgender. Some facilities are more prepared to treat a transgender person; however other facilities lack the training to properly help.
Although discrimination is still prevalent, some of the more well-known treatment and support groups (like AA or NA) are becoming more accepting of transgender people. This article addresses many factors which need to be considered in the treatment of transgender individuals. According to the article, factors such as body image, grief and loss, sexual concerns, and even social isolation need to be addressed during drug and alcohol addiction treatment. By addressing these issues, a transgender person will feel more comfortable and confident in their recovery.
By addressing factors which might inhibit recovery, more and more rehabilitation centers can become a safe place for transgender individuals to seek treatment. It’s important to address body image during treatment and the therapist should talk to the transgender individual about what they believe it means to be male or female. They should also discuss any discontent or discomfort felt by the individual when it comes to how they identify as a person. Focusing on grief and loss can greatly help a transgender person overcome any rejection they felt by friends or family members. Addressing past problems and providing new solutions can be helpful for any person struggling with sobriety and recovery, regardless if they’re transgender or not.
Every person who tries to get sober is different and they come to treatment with their own sets of ideas and past experiences. Although every person is unique, many people in the transgender community face similar problems including sexual concerns and social isolation. Making the transition from one gender to another usually requires a change. It can be as simple as wearing different clothing or as dramatic as a gender-reassignment surgery. It’s important for transgender people to be able to speak freely about their sexuality and express themselves without fear of retribution. All humans are social creatures by nature and social isolation can greatly affect someone, whether they identify as transgender or not. A socially inclusive and supportive environment such as a LGBT-friendly rehab can greatly help a transgender person to feel less socially isolated.
All that glitters is not gold. A shiny new sign, catchy ads, and a guided tour of the facility do not necessarily mean a treatment center is ready to help transgender people obtain sobriety. Therapists and other staff members must understand the unique problems a transgender person is facing. They must be ready to help them identify and overcome the issues in order to battle their substance addiction.