Sunday, May 26, 2013

Sadly, and for a number of reasons, gays and lesbians suffer disproportionately high levels of substance abuse and addiction within their communities. Not long ago gays had few options when looking for a drug rehab that would meet their needs with sensitivity and respect, and fortunately, that has since changed. Gay and lesbian alcoholics and addicts can now choose to recover with in a gay and lesbian exclusive rehab, or in a general rehab that demonstrates a sensitivity and awareness to the issues of the gay and lesbian communities.

So which is better, gay only or mixed drug rehab?

Research on the issue has shown that gay and lesbian addicts do just about as well in either, providing that their concerns are addressed and issues of sexuality are overtly covered in therapeutic sessions. Gay and lesbian addicts who have gone through the formal recovery process report that they want and need to have staff members address their sexuality as a factor in abuse and recovery, and not have to bring it up themselves.

Obviously, no one can recover in an environment that does not treat them with respect, and that does not treat their concerns as valid and legitimate. Any rehab under consideration needs to espouse an awareness of the unique challenges facing gays and lesbians in recovery, and also maintain a fervent atmosphere of acceptance and tolerance, not only from the staff, but also from all addicts participating in shared recovery.

Group therapy

A universal in recovery programs, group therapy can give a lot of insight and hope to addicts during the month of rehab; but for group therapy to really work, all have to participate honestly, and without holding back out of embarrassment or shyness.

This is essentially the deciding point over what type of rehab is right for you. If you are comfortable sharing openly your history, your challenges and your feelings in a group of mixed sexuality addicts in recovery, then you may benefit equally in a gay specific rehab, or in a tolerant mixed sexuality rehab.

If you cannot imagine open and honest admissions in a mixed sexuality peer recovery group, then you cannot hope to benefit equally outside of a gay specific rehab, and for you, gay only rehab is the far preferable place to recover. It's a new luxury to even have the choice, and you need to make a decision based on your personal comfort levels, and on what's most likely to give you the tools you'll need to stay sober.

Be sure to inquire as to the policies of tolerance of any rehab under consideration, as although many will accept you regardless, you do not want to squander your efforts, your time and your hope at a facility that pays lip service only to equality and fairness. Whatever rehab you choose, make sure that they walk the walk of tolerance, and don't only talk the talk while lusting after your admissions check.


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