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Are There Rehab Centers for Sexual Minorities?

If you consider yourself a sexual minority, you are probably aware of the many acronyms that can be used to identify you.

In the past, LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) was used. Then, a Q was tacked onto the end to include the general population that consider themselves queer but don’t fit into L, G, B, or T. Later, an A was added to the end for asexual people. Now, the acronym is LGBTQI2-S. The additions include people who are intersex, two-spirit, and sexual minorities.

It is wonderful to see a community expand its inclusivity, but keeping up with all of the acronyms can get complicated.

If you identify as part of this group, you may feel like an outsider in “traditional” inpatient rehab. You might fear identifying yourself or backlash from other patients or compromised care. Of course, all rehab facilities attempt to provide equal care and limit aggression between patients, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen or that your fears are unfounded.


Gay and transgender people aren’t often studied in addiction research, but some stats have been gathered.

  • Compared to men who do not have sex with other men, men who do are 3.5 times as likely to use marijuana.
  • They are 12.2 times more likely to use amphetamines.
  • They are 9.5 times more likely to use heroin.
Sexual Minorities

Sharing similar life experiences can help you bond with others in rehab.

Other research indicates greater rates of addiction. Studies comparing gay men and lesbians with heterosexual or general populations, discovered the lesbians and gay men were heavier substance and alcohol users and had greater need for treatment.

If you are a sexual minority and you have avoided getting treatment because you don’t think you will fit in, there is an answer. InpatientDrugRehabCenters.com can help you research treatment centers and locate one that will cater to your needs. Call 800-430-1407Who Answers? and start the process.

Social Rejection

But, why do you risk higher rates of substance abuse if you are LGBTQI2-S? Most experts attribute it to social rejection that creates internalized homophobia and shame. In findings from a Pew Research study, only 19 percent of the LGBTQAI2-S respondents felt that there is a lot of social acceptance for the population, and only 18 percent of the adult population expressed being “very happy,” while 30 percent of the general population did.

This disparity in treatment from the average heterosexual leads many members of the sexual minority to cope with their rejection through substance abuse. An inpatient rehab that exclusively addresses these concerns and limits the population to sexual minorities does a better job of dealing with complicated causes and treatment approaches.


The primary benefit of LGBTQAI2-S specific rehab is that it provides an environment that is full of acceptance. You may not like all of your peers and they may not like you, but it won’t be because you are a sexual minority. You will be part of a closed, safe community with shared experiences.


As the population faces very specific addiction roots, realities and treatments, staff needs expertise in dealing with these issues. The chances of proficiency increase as the patient population is limited; time and resources can be devoted specifically to queer concerns.

Why Choose Gender Specific Inpatient Rehab Programs?


Inpatient rehab typically involves a group therapy component. Well, group therapy often feels unhelpful when it accommodates a crowd with vastly different concerns. How can each participant get value from it? In a group therapy scenario where you have more in common with the other participants, you will feel like the sessions are more productive.


Studies show that support has a huge impact on the success of drug rehabilitation treatment. You can form mutually supportive relationships with your recovery peers. That is easier when your peers are familiar with the impact of homophobia and gender-bashing. You not only can grow close to one another because you share a rehab experience, you also share life experiences.


Old techniques for treatment (some centers still use them) were generally “LGBT” tolerant. Now, spaces defined for sexual minorities can practice LGBT affirming treatment. There is no need to hide.

If you think an LGBTQA12-S facility would best serve your needs, you should be trying to find one and we can help. Call 800-430-1407Who Answers? and speak to someone who wants to help you.

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