Being LGBTQ+ can add an extra layer of complication to someone new in recovery or in the throes of addiction. While society has made great strides, there are still several unique challenges LGBTQ+ people face.
Large sections of society continue to harbor homophobic and transphobic views. LGBTQ+ youth continue to face bullying in school and rejection from families and religious organizations. Transgendered people face widespread harassment, discrimination, and rejection from families. For these reasons, many LGBTQ+ people feel the need to stay in the closet, living a lie to keep everyone around them happy. As it is with most of us in addiction, drugs, and alcohol are often used to keep these feelings bottled in.
Given these factors, it is not surprising that research from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMSAH) shows that people who identify as LGBTQ+ are at a greater risk for addiction and mental health issues than people who identify as straight/cis-gendered. On top of this, according to that same study, there is a major treatment gap in both mental health and addiction treatment facing LGBTQ+ identified people. These factors make it critical that LGBTQ+ people are just as safe and accepted in treatment as everyone else.
At Oregon Trail Recovery we are well-aware of these challenges and take great efforts to make our environment safe and accepting. Navigating early sobriety is challenging, we want to ensure gender identity and sexual orientation don’t add to those challenges.
Inclusive Recovery Groups
Acceptance is the answer to all our problems today and the way we treat our clients. Our Intensive Outpatient Groups are coed, mixing people of all gender identities. In this environment, we stress acceptance of people of any race, nationality, gender identity, and sexual orientation. There are strict rules against any sort of harassment or discrimination based on any form of racial or sexual minority status.
Keeping your true feelings locked inside and burying them beneath drugs and alcohol is part of what leads you to rock bottom. When you enter recovery, you don’t have to bury your true feelings anymore. You should be able to enter a space where people accept you for who you genuinely are, not who you pretend to be.
Individual counseling sessions are another safe area. Our counselors are experts in addiction and mental health and undergo diversity training to ensure the creation of an environment that is as inclusive as possible.
The housing we offer is gender-specific, which means that you can live in housing that corresponds to the gender you identify with on a case-by-case basis. If you are fully transitioned you will be placed in sober living that corresponds to your gender identity.
Portland LGBT Community and Resources
Luckily, we live in a metro area with a plethora of options for LGBTQ+ recovery and mental health resources. It’s easy to branch out from Intensive Outpatient and build a great sober support network through 12 step meetings. Building an accepting, sober community around you isn’t only an insurance measure against the first drink, it’s one aspect of a new, happy life.
There are meetings in the Portland area for almost any identity you can possibly think of, linked below are some great resources:
- City of Portland Resources
- PDX Intergroup LGBTQ+ Meetings
- Gays and Lesbians in Alcoholics Anonymous (GAL-AA)
For general crisis and helplines:
Oregon Trail Recovery Can Help
Oregon Trail Recovery is here for you! Please contact us and let us help you get started on the road to recovery!