The prevalence of substance use disorders and mental health disorders in the LGBTQ community is significantly higher than that of the general population. A significant reason for this is that historically, people who identify as LGBTQ have experienced more stigma, discrimination, and other familial and societal challenges than those who identify as heterosexual. These factors have also made it challenging to find an addiction treatment program that addresses the specific needs of those who identify as LBGTQ.
Thankfully, in recent years the shift in perceptions about people who identify as LGBTQ has helped create a more accepting society, making it easier for LGBTQ individuals to seek the treatment they need openly. Today, addiction treatment programs across the nation are developing programs specifically designed for the LGBTQ community, including here at Northpoint Seattle. Call 425.414.3530 to learn more about outpatient LGBTQ-inclusive addiction treatment options.
Understanding the Need for LGBTQ Addiction Treatment Support in Seattle
Many people who identify as LGBTQ have experienced discrimination publically, in their relationships, or both. Historically, this has included not getting the healthcare they need without bias or prejudice, including treatment for substance use disorders and co-occurring mental health disorders. Identifying the unique issues of those who identify as LGBTQ and understanding how to account for these needs in an addiction treatment program is critical to providing a safe, comfortable environment for LGBTQ patients to pursue recovery.
LGBTQ-Inclusive treatment for addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders needs to address issues that impact overall well-being, including:
- Gender identity and sexual orientation
- Coming out
- Social stigmas, prejudice, and discrimination
- The link between trauma and substance use disorders
- Healthy sexuality
- Internalized homophobia
- Mental health impacts of trauma
So often, LGBTQ individuals have had to spend their lives trying to conform to norms not in line with their identity, leaving them feeling alienated or disconnected. These experiences are a critical reason for the need for inclusive addiction and mental health treatment that addresses the specific needs of LGBTQ individuals. At Northpoint Seattle, we believe that your story is unique. We design individualized treatment plans that address your addiction and any underlying mental conditions that contribute to it. That’s the Northpoint difference.
The Link Between LGBTQ Trauma and Addiction
Trauma is a deeply disturbing or distressing experience that threatens a person’s sense of safety and well-being. There are three specific types of trauma:
- Acute trauma results from a single traumatic event
- Chronic trauma results from repeated or prolonged exposure to traumatic events
- Complex trauma results from exposure to multiple and varied traumatic events, which are usually invasive and interpersonal
Most people associate trauma with a specific incident or experience. For members of the LGBTQ community, trauma can look much different and is usually the result of ongoing situations rather than one particular event. Individuals who identify on the LGBTQ spectrum are typically victims of complex trauma, which can be a combination of any of the following frequently reported within the LGBTQ community:
- Being the target of hate crimes
- Being rejected or disowned by family and friends
- Social stigmatization
- Discrimination and prejudice
- Being the victim of physical, mental, or sexual abuse
Because of these experiences, LGBTQ individuals often hide or suppress their true identity and develop internalized homophobia, contributing to ongoing trauma. Over time, this untreated trauma can lead to mental health disorders such as PTSD, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, self-harm, and substance use disorders. Many withdraw and isolate themselves to avoid the pain of harassment, ridicule, or rejection. This isolation and loneliness compound their mental health symptoms and fuels substance abuse and addiction.
The Benefits of an LGBTQ Addiction Treatment Center in Seattle
At Northpoint Seattle, our certified medical team provides not only accurate diagnoses they can also formulate integrated treatment plans that address specific combinations of co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders.
Patients in our LGBTQ addiction treatment center will also benefit from therapies such as:
- Family therapy
- Trauma therapy
- Mental health treatment
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Mindfulness and meditation
- Educational classes and skill-building
- Experiential therapies
Every aspect of the Northpoint Seattle addiction treatment program is catered to your individual needs, from the length of treatment and weekly hourly commitment to the types of therapy you receive and how often. Here, you will be treated as the distinctive and complex person you are, not a soulless chart in a file.
Contact Northpoint Seattle for LGBTQ-Inclusive Addiction Treatment
With the growing understanding of the prevalence of co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders within the LGBTQ community, more treatment centers offer addiction treatment specifically designed to meet the unique needs of LGBTQ individuals. Contact the Northpoint Seattle LGBTQ addiction treatment center at 425.414.3530 to learn more about your treatment options.