June is National Pride Month, an event where visibility and acceptance of LGBTQ+ identities are encouraged. Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, we had to rethink how to celebrate this year. As early as April, the usual Pride parades, festivals, and parties were cancelled. Not being able to celebrate Pride Month in the same ways has granted us time to reflect on what it means to be an LGBTQ+ person in addiction recovery or contemplating getting sober.
A Cocktail for Disaster
Mix one part stigma with one part cultural substance use and you’ve got yourself a recipe for misuse and addiction.
Even though it’s 2020 and society’s perceptions of gay and trans people have shifted positively, stigma still exists in many situations and regions. Individuals hiding their true gender and/or sexual identities and those who are out are at high risk of experiencing harassment, violence, and feelings of shame and denial. Because of these potentially harmful situations, instances of substance abuse arise in LGBTQ+ adults at more than double the rate of heterosexual adults.
Knowing that, we can see how much of LGBTQ+ culture has been heavily centered around drug and alcohol use. Gay bars, clubs, and parties are staples in our culture. Alcohol and designer drugs flow freely in these environments as ways of coping with the shame, stress, and fear of living in a world that doesn’t fully accept us.
Recovery Unplugged is LGBTQ+ friendly, offering sexual orientation and gender-affirming treatment in multiple states. Watch the video of Samantha below and check out our YouTube channel to hear more stories of LGBTQ+ alumni and their experiences at Recovery Unplugged.
A Mocktail for Success
Now, mix one part affirming care with one part sober spaces and you’ve shaken up a delicious concoction of health, happiness, and fun!
Recovery Unplugged treats LGBTQ+ individuals by providing sexual orientation and gender affirming care. All clients are encouraged to be their authentic selves and staff are educated on the needs of different populations. Case management helps clients find aftercare, such as LGTBQ+-specific sober living homes, therapists, and mutual support groups.
Luckily for LGBTQ+ people in recovery, there has been a rise in popularity of sober bars, cafes, and meeting spaces! We are creating environments free of drugs and alcohol that allow us to connect with other LGBTQ+ folks and be ourselves. We are finding that we can still have fun, meet new people, and have places to be ourselves while remaining clean and sober. Many of these entities have moved online in the face of the pandemic, helping us connect and celebrate Pride safely!
LGBTQ+ Addiction Recovery: Take Pride in Your Sobriety
There is no shame in seeking help for substance use disorders. When looking for the right rehab or provider for yourself or a loved one, doing a quick search to see if they offer sexual orientation or gender-affirming care will make a world of difference. Find treatment that will allow you to be yourself and help you figure out what your life will look like without drugs and alcohol.
Proud to be LGBTQ+. Proud to be sober. Proud to be you.