In recent years acceptance of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community has strengthened by a significant measure. Unfortunately, our LGBTQ friends and family can still be subjected to mistreatment, abuse and misunderstanding. Insensitivity and intolerance remains a pressing issue.
Since April of 1996 an annual Day of Silence has been recognized to raise awareness about the effects of harassment upon our LGBTQ fellows. LGBTQ folks and their allies remain silent for one day each year as an act representing mutual solidarity. To some degree this silence can be metaphorical of some of their day-to-day lives, in which, within the social mainstream an important part of their identity is considered to be a taboo topic for discussion.
Feelings of misinterpretation and discrimination can, in effect, make seeking help for a drug or alcohol problem difficult and daunting for LGBTQs. The good news is there are rehab facilities, treatment centers and organizations that comprehend this concern. A vital part of professional addiction and alcoholism treatment is to provide a safe and comfortable environment that is conducive to the healing process. Such havens should be available for people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. Rehabs that are sensitive to LGBTQ needs are important. Rehabs solely specific to LGBTQ are out there and accessible as options as well. Some LGBTQ friendly rehabs in South Florida include Palm Partners in Delray and Inspire Recovery in West Palm Beach. The Pride Institute in Ft. Lauderdale is a LGBTQ specific treatment center. Calling the HelpanAddict.com helpline at 1-888-535-5765, specialists will be available to aid in locating LGBTQ friendly drug and alcohol rehab centers anywhere in the country.
As far as tried and true 12 step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, Lambda Alternative Twelve Step Clubhouses offer AA and NA meetings where LGBTQ is the norm. The strong sense of community provided by the Lambda North Clubhouse in Lake Worth, Florida and the Lambda South Clubhouse in Ft. Lauderdale fosters friendships and fellowship that is an essential component in the journey to recovery.
Alarmingly, 20 to 30 percent of the LGBTQ population abuses substances and/or alcohol, compared to around 9 percent of the general population. When seeking help, there is perhaps an apprehension that there may be ignorance or negative prejudice in the recovery community towards LGBTQs. Although there will be misinformed, prejudiced and unkind people within any sampling of society, the recovery community is enormously accepting, loving and supportive by its nature. No matter who you are, other recovering addicts and alcoholics, as well as addiction treatment professionals, can always be found waiting with open arms to help another human being who is in need.