Home / FEATURED / Compelling new data from Hazelden’s Butler Center for Research leads to the nation’s first substance abuse treatment program tailored for LGBTQ

Compelling new data from Hazelden’s Butler Center for Research leads to the nation’s first substance abuse treatment program tailored for LGBTQ

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PORTLAND, Ore.June 30, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Armed with compelling new data from the Butler Center for Research, the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, the nation’s leading addiction treatment provider, has developed an innovative treatment model specifically for the millions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning people who seek lifelong freedom from substance abuse. The new program sets a new standard for a special population.

“New data suggests LGBTQ individuals come to treatment with deeper and more complex trauma than many non-LGBTQ individuals,” states Audrey Klein, Ph.D., executive director, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation’s Butler Center for Research.

“LGBTQ clients benefit from treatment that is integrative, affirming and tailored to their needs,” said Buster Ross, director, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation’s LGBTQ-Integrative Treatment Program.

According to the data, 92 percent of LGBTQ clients come to treatment with a co-occurring disorder. LGBTQ clients are

  • Nearly twice as likely as heterosexual clients to report physical and emotional abuse;
  • Three times more likely to have a history of sexual abuse;
  • Significantly more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety;
  • More likely to be dependent on more than one substance;
  • More likely to suffer a mental health illness in addition to substance abuse; and
  • Significantly more likely to report previous detoxification and inpatient treatment.

The program focuses on co-occurring mental illness and trauma. It addresses the trauma of living closeted, of family and religious rejection, and of physical and emotional antigay abuse – issues not previously addressed by other addiction treatment programs.

Housed at Hazelden’s Springbrook residential facility, near Portland, Ore., the LGBTQ-Integrative Treatment Program, the nation’s first-of-its kind, integrates LGBTQ treatment with the traditional Twelve Step model. The program accommodates heterosexual and LGBTQ clients.

Using an LGBTQ-specific curriculum, every part of the program considers LGBTQ needs. To help LGBTQ clients overcome internalized homophobia and shame, the program creates a supportive environment in a predominantly heterosexual setting.

“We find opportunities for LGBTQ clients to experience community support and validation, imperative to successful recovery,” Ross says.

The program helps clients uncover the interplay of sexual identity, chemical dependency and mental illness.

Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services will publish the findings, co-authored by Klein, Ph.D. and Ross, M.A.

Visit www.hazelden.org/lgbtq or call 866-866-4662.