Although there are many organizations and groups that help those suffering from addiction, not all of these groups are always so accepting of others. Depending on location, an addict may have access to a number of different programs that can assist them in their recovery from substance abuse and addiction. Unfortunately, many of these organizations discriminate against transgender people and the LGBT community in general. Many people who identify as LGBT have issues finding a treatment center that will accept them. They also might find it difficult to find a proper support group once they leave treatment.
People in the LGBT community have a higher rate of drug and alcohol use than the general population. They also face more instances of discrimination and harassment in their everyday life. Those in the LGBT community are often not treated fairly, even when they’re trying to get help. This article highlights the fact that people in the LGBT community have much higher rates of substance abuse and addiction. Why do LGBT people have higher rates of substance abuse and addiction? According to the article, “The stress that comes from daily battles with discrimination and stigma is a principle driver of these higher rates of substance use, as gay and transgender people turn to tobacco, alcohol, and other substances as a way to cope with these challenges. And a lack of culturally competent health care services also fuels high substance-use rates among gay and transgender people.”
The article also mentions that LGBT adults are almost twice as likely as the general population to go without health insurance and people who identify themselves as transgender or bisexual are almost three times more likely to go without health insurance. Only 17 states allow same-sex marriage. Unfortunately, most states don’t allow LGBT people to get married. That means they can’t obtain coverage under their partner’s insurance. Most private treatment centers accept major insurance plans, however those without insurance may find themselves paying a huge out of pocket cost.
Access to proper health care is not the only obstacle for someone who identifies as LGBT. Unfortunately, many people are ignorant of the problems facing someone who is LGBT in our society. The gatekeepers and counselors that represent treatment groups and institutions can be the greatest impediment to providing care for someone who is transgender and in need of substance abuse treatment. The article above mentions that transgender individuals may be hesitant to use their health care benefits to overcome substance abuse and dependence because they might meet people who are not aware of their specific needs or who are hostile and discriminate against them. Specific rehabilitation centers that help those in the LGBT community are not common but they do exist.
Fortunately, there are new options for those in the LGBT community. New facilities actively provide their counselors and addiction experts with knowledge they will need in order to successfully treat those suffering from drug or alcohol addiction in the LGBT community.
Although these facilities are few and far between, there are now more options and even more insurance coverage due to some states and even the federal government changing laws and policies to allow same-sex partners to share insurance coverage. Although some changes have been made, there is room for progress and advancement in the care and treatment of LGBT individuals who have substance addiction problems.