As a member of the LGBT community, you may have already faced challenges on your way to seeking alcohol treatment. When you think about baring your heart to the other people in your rehab program, it is normal to worry about how you will be viewed. You may also worry about how the staff might treat you if they know that you are part of this community. Finding out that there are alcohol treatment centers in NJ that specialize in the LGBT community is reassuring and gives you the best chances to begin your recovery in a safe environment.
Although your first thought might be to hide who you really are, the truth is that you need to talk about your experiences as a member of the LGBT community because they do affect your treatment. As an LGBT individual, you need to know that you can speak out about how your identity impacts your family relationships, work habits and social life. You will also find that being in a supportive environment helps you to deal with other issues that trigger cravings for alcohol. When you begin to search for the right treatment center to welcome you with open arms, one of the first questions that you need to ask is if you will be encouraged to be open about who you are and what it means to be LGBT.
Understand the Link Between Discrimination and Addiction
Addiction is prevalent in the LGBT community, and this can be partially attributed to the vast amount of discrimination that people may face over the course of their lives. Before coming out, you may have had to hide who you are. This could have generated a great deal of fear, shame and embarrassment about your preferences that has now led to issues such as poor self-esteem and anxiety. You could even still be hiding who you are from various people in your life, and drinking helps you to maintain that tough guy or super mom persona. If you have come out to people that you know or are completely open in public, then you have likely faced some type of discrimination. Your family might have turned on you, and you might have even been asked to leave their house if you were living together at the time. You may have faced discrimination at school or in the workplace. Listening as other people joke or make rude comments about people with your preferences is emotionally harmful. You may also be dealing with trauma if you have ever been the victim of an assault based upon your identity, and it is common for people to try to mask the feelings that come up when trauma goes unresolved.
Address Underlying Mental Health Disorders
Your identity also places you at risk for serious mental health issues that impact your ability to get and stay sober. Depression is common among people in the LGBT community, and you may need professional counseling to help you learn how to deal with your symptoms without using alcohol.
Coexisting mental health disorder treatments in a LGBT-friendly treatment center can include some of the following services that help you begin your journey toward sobriety.
- mental health condition testing and assessments
- professional counseling that targets known mental health issues
- group therapy to discuss common challenges in sobriety
- family therapy that encourages emotional healing
While addressing underlying mental health issues takes time, you will begin to notice that you feel better within a matter of days. Your LGBT-friendly treatment center will also incorporate elements of your identity into all of these treatments so that you can apply them to each facet of your life. For instance, you will talk with your professional counselors about how to manage your responses to discrimination in public or from your family.
Find Support for Your New Sober Lifestyle
Learning to live a sober lifestyle as a member of the LGBT community also comes with specific challenges that must be addressed. In addition to learning how to manage your responses to discrimination, you may need help with learning how to open up to your loved ones about your lifestyle. Finding ways to be more accepting of your own identify and asking others to provide you with the same allows you to enjoy a greater sense of self-confidence about who you are. You may also need to learn strategies for managing your cravings for alcohol in social environments.
For instance, you may need to take a sober companion with you to parties, or you might need to make a virgin signature drink that you can carry around like a cocktail. Practicing how you can handle peer pressure in your social scenes also prepares you to stay sober while still having fun. Do you need an alcohol treatment center that respects your identify within the LGBT community? Give us a call today at 833-762-3765. We don’t discriminate, and we love to help!