Addiction is a serious global problem having serious implications on health as well as economic and social aspects of all societies. However, despite knowing the perils of drug abuse and its addiction, millions of people worldwide are hooked on illegal substances and refuse to seek help to come out of its grip. As a result, they go through a series of challenges in their life in the form of family breakdowns, job loss, financial burden, road accidents, education problems, domestic violence, and so on. In most cases, medication-assisted long-term treatment, along with regular monitoring, works best to reduce compulsive drug seeking and use.

However, for the LGBT community, which has been constantly discriminated against by the society, tackling the issue of addiction and leading a dignified life has remained a daunting task. Evidently, addiction is an isolating disease that largely depends on an individual’s life experiences. Thus, the traditionally marginalized groups need special care to enable addiction treatment to take place comprehensively at a societal level.

Apart from carefully structured detoxification program that should include medication, therapy and a follow-up treatment, the LGBT community needs a specialized treatment geared toward its distinctive needs. The treatment may depend on the severity of addiction, gender and age of the patient.

LGBT community has high substance abuse rate

Studies have revealed that the LGBT community has a higher probability to develop substance use disorders and related mental conditions than the rest of the population. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), nearly 20-30 percent of the LGBT population indulges in substance abuse as compared to just 9 percent in case of the general population. “LGBT patients have higher rates of substance abuse, lower levels of abstinence from alcohol and drug use, and a greater likelihood to continue heavy drinking for a longer period of time,” as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

As per studies, a better outcome can be achieved in cases where the “special population” was provided with specialized and tailored treatment since the mainstream treatment programs increase the challenges for the LGBT community in the form of discrimination, prejudice, negative attitudes and behavior. To add to the woes, a significant number of health care experts harbor negative attitude toward this community, while a lot of treatment centers do not cater to their lifestyles and needs, which leads to a painful relapse. This kind of disparity can increase the risk for mental disorders, which makes the situation increasingly complicated. Precisely, the one-size-fits-all approach does not provide effective results in case of LGBT who need unique treatment option that caters to their individual needs.

The need of the hour is to facilitate a safe environment, including specialized treatment modalities and dedicated staff that does not care about the background of an individual.

Seeking professional help

More access to medicine-based treatments will result in a big impact in treating cases of substance abuse, including opioid addiction. However, it will be effective when it is used simultaneously with other treatment methods, such as counseling and support groups. Prevention is always better than cure. In case of drug addiction, the earlier prevention is initiated, the better it is.

If you or your loved one is battling drug addiction and is looking for help, the California Drug Addiction Helpline can assist you with information about the best drug rehab centers. Call us at our 24/7 helpline number 855-980-1946 to know about the most effective drug rehab.

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