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Jun-26-2014 09:45printcomments

92 Percent of LGBT People Seek Treatment for One or More Mental or Physical Disorders

For the first time, LGBTQ people have access to comprehensive treatment that recognizes and addresses all of the significant issues they face.

LGBT health Data
For the first time, LGBTQ people have access to comprehensive treatment that recognizes and addresses all of the significant issues they face, including community issues traditionally avoided or solved through population segregation.

(PORTLAND, Ore. ) - Armed with compelling new data from Hazelden's Butler Center for Research, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, the nation's leading addiction treatment provider, has tailored an innovative treatment model specifically for the millions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning people who seek lifelong freedom from substance abuse.

Housed at Hazelden's Springbrook residential facility, 25 miles southwest of Portland, Ore., the LGBTQ-Integrative Treatment Program - the first of its kind in the nation - integrates culturally LGBTQ specific treatment with the traditional Twelve Step recovery model. The program equally accommodates heterosexual and LGBQT clients.

"New data tell us LGBTQ individuals come to treatment with deeper and more complex trauma," explains Buster Ross, director of Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation's LGBTQ-Integrative Treatment Program, and a prominent national voice at the intersection of sexual health and substance abuse recovery. "LGBTQ clients benefit from treatment that is integrative, affirming and tailored to their needs."

The LGBTQ-Integrative Treatment Program addresses the trauma of living closeted, of family and religious rejection, and of physical and emotional antigay abuse - issues not previously recognized or addressed by other addiction treatment programs.

For the first time, LGBTQ people have access to comprehensive treatment that recognizes and addresses all of the significant issues they face, including community issues traditionally avoided or solved through population segregation.

According to the new data, 92 percent of LGBTQ clients come to treatment with a co-occurring disorder. LGBTQ clients are also: Nearly twice as likely as heterosexual clients to report physical and emotional abuse; Three times more likely to have a history of sexual abuse; Significantly more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety; More likely to be dependent on more than one substance; More likely to suffer a mental health illness in addition to substance abuse; and Significantly more likely to report previous detoxification and inpatient treatment.

The next issue of "Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services" will publish a full report of the findings, co-authored by Audrey A. Klein, Ph.D., and Buster L. Ross, M.A.

Informed by the new data, LGBTQ-Integrative Treatment Program focuses on co-occurring mental illness and trauma.

"Primary issues that LGBTQ individuals face include shame, rejection, depression, anxiety, internalization of cultural sex-negativity and identity conflicts," Ross notes.

Using an LGBTQ-specific curriculum, every part of the program considers LGBTQ needs. To help LGBTQ clients overcome internalized homophobia and shame, the program creates a safe and supportive environment in a predominantly heterosexual setting.

"Together, we find we all have commonalities," Ross says. "We find opportunities for LGBTQ clients to experience community support and validation, imperative to successful recovery."

The program treats clients holistically and strives to help clients uncover the complex interplay between sexual identity, chemical dependency and mental illness.

"The program views sexual health from a sex-positive perspective," says Ross, who is certified as both a sexuality counselor and a drug and alcohol counselor. "With the right care and support, clients find hope, health and freedom from addiction."

To learn more call 866-866-4662. Calls are answered 24 hours a day.

Source: Hazelden's Butler Center for Research




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