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Healing, Strengthening, and Advancing the Lives of LGBTQ People Seeking Recovery

Transgender Substance Abuse

Transgender person ponders in red shirt about substance abuse

Transgender substance abuse is alarmingly high. This is due to the discrimination and lack of acceptance that transgender individuals face today. It is essential to recognize how this affects mental health, leading to an increased risk for depression, anxiety, and addiction. Many factors lead to substance abuse in this population, including lack of support from family and friends or difficulty accessing treatment or services.

If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse, La Fuente Hollywood Treatment Center’s transgender addiction treatment can help. Contact us at 888.903.9898 to learn about our Hollywood, California, LGBTQ addiction treatment center and how it can help.

Why Are Transgender Substance Abuse Rates High?

Transgender people face many stressors that contribute to substance misuse. Homophobic and heteronormative values dominate society. Transgender people don’t “fit” into this mold and thus experience stress due to being different. The result is harassment, maltreatment, discrimination, and victimization. It may also impact access to medical care.  

The reality is more complex and more devastating. For example, transgender people often experience the following:

  • Poverty
  • Violence and abuse
  • Higher incarceration rates
  • Unfair standards in housing, employment, and healthcare

It’s no surprise that these experiences lead to stress, depression, and anxiety. These feelings drive some people to use alcohol and drugs to self-medicate and cope with their problems.

Stigma in Substance Abuse Treatment Centers 

Transgender people face challenges even after checking into addiction treatment. That’s because most treatment facilities lack the experience and infrastructure to accommodate their unique needs.

In some cases, transgender people are either excluded entirely from programs and services or grouped with LGB clients instead of being placed into a dedicated category.

What’s more, clients who are transitioning require regular hormone treatments, an intervention that some treatment centers may not have experience administering or monitoring.  

These challenges mean poorer outcomes for trans people in substance abuse treatment.

Best Practices In Transgender Substance Abuse Treatment 

Providers need to educate themselves about best practices in transgender substance abuse.

Despite the high rates of substance use among transgender people, there’s a lack of awareness of tested interventions for the transgender population. 

The most basic thing transgender people require when seeking substance abuse treatment is culturally competent providers. Clients should never need to train providers about their mental or physical healthcare needs, which is doubly true for transgender people. 

To that end, we’ve compiled some recommendations for providing culturally competent substance abuse treatment to transgender clients:

  • Provide gender-affirming services – Allow clients to use the restroom of their choice; offer clothing that fits a variety of body sizes and shapes; designate areas for meditation or prayer; provide access to hormone therapy when appropriate.
  • Create a safe and welcoming environment – Respect clients’ identities; use chosen names and pronouns; provide education about the importance of inclusive language for all staff members.
  • Increase understanding about transgender health issues – Staff should be knowledgeable about gender-affirming care, including medical treatments related to transitioning, such as hormone therapy, surgery, and other gender-affirming treatments.

Increase access to resources – Provide referrals for housing, employment, legal advice, and mental health services as needed.

La Fuente and Transgender Substance Abuse Treatment

LGBTQ-affirmative treatment is what La Fuente Hollywood Treatment Center is all about. We’re one of the few treatment centers in the United States dedicated to serving the needs of this community. 

Our treatment is non-judgmental and therapeutically sensitive. In addition, our staff is trained to help clients who have experienced family distress and societal pressures that can manifest as addiction. 

We offer full-service care—from detoxification to residential, outpatient, and sober living. Our clinical program has been carefully crafted over time and is informed by evidence-based treatment, including:

  • Motivational interviewing 
  • Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT)
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Therapeutic yoga
  • Relapse prevention therapy

We work tirelessly to stay on the cutting edge of LGBTQ-affirmative treatment in order to best help our clients achieve long-term sobriety. So if you, or someone you love, is part of the transgender community and is struggling with substance abuse, fill out our contact form or call us at 888.903.9898 today. Our transgender addiction center can help you or a loved one attain the life you deserve.

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