Finding Your LGBT Community that Reflects You at River Oaks At River Oaks we understand the struggle finding yourself a good support network while struggling with substance abuse, especially for those in the LGBT community. We are here to help. Anyone who has walked the road to sobriety from substance abuse and addiction knows that it is a battle between life and death by way of the jagged cliffs of isolation and disconnection. Couple that with a knowledge that not only are you struggling with addiction, but are profoundly different from many people around you. Finding connection with humanity in your space can be overwhelmingly defeating. This is the unique paradox of a life lived by an LGBT individual who also struggles with addiction. From Seeking Acceptance to Struggling With Addiction For an LGBT person, the definition of family, friends and support group is a large contrast from what one would normally know. Many have experienced a partial or total cut off from those who claimed to love them the most. Abandonment has rocked their world on their journey to self-identification. Weighed down by their shame and anxiety, feeling alienated from close family and friends, many have sought acceptance, but found it only in bars or clubs. The cost to earn that acceptance within the bar and club culture often goes hand-in-hand with addictive substances. In addition, many struggle to find their safe spaces, physically or emotionally, as they themselves may struggle to identify their new reality – and what that means relationally. The clouded message becomes “find acceptance and lose your pain in the substance.” Often these unhealthy practices only leave LGBT individuals feeling more alone and isolated in their path, unsure of what healthy connection to life can really look like and impacting their mental and physical health. Walking away from substance, for many LGBT individuals, can mean walking away from the only accepting community they know. They find themselves mourning the loss of who they were, while wrestling with the knowledge of who they are. LGBT Addiction Treatment River Oaks, an American Addictions Facility, specializes in the whole person healing that certain members of the LGBT community seek. Our practice of Dual Diagnosis care allows the trained, clinical teams to meet these individuals where they are and help them rise out of their shame and anxiety to introduce their truest selves to their community again. The team at River Oaks helps to bring holistic healing, the first step in providing the safety that is paramount to the success of a struggling LBGT addict. With full partnership of facility leadership, the team at River Oaks undergoes training to help them better identify the needs of an LGBT client. Understanding cultural competencies, specifically for the transgender client, are paramount to making them feel like they have a new place to start; a place that truly understands who they really are. Through the partnerships of our LGBT programs at River Oaks, clients and their loved ones learn what it means to be different and struggle with addiction – both collectively and separately. Clients are empowered with the knowledge of what healthy boundaries look like and how to carefully set them for their own journey of healing. They begin to realize that many are encountering them as an LGBT individual for the first time and don’t judge – they simply don’t know what they don’t know. Clients also learn that their greatest chance for a successful next chapter is to understand the critical elements of building their aftercare environment now – with guardrails already in place. For many LGBT individuals with limited means, resources are not always as readily available. Our therapies allow them to face that realization head on and begin to formulate a plan for their future that can be successful. Finding Acceptance in Recovery LGBT Therapy at River Oaks takes a client, visibly walking with the slump of anxiety and shame and allows them to see what could be like to walk tall and proud again – actively engaging in healthy conversation and relationships with their community again. They find that, on the road to sobriety, even though they are different, they are still alike in so many ways. Human connection is the enemy of isolation and is the lantern by which they guide their path. If you or a loved one are an LGBT individual also struggling with addiction, there is hope for you here. Join us at River Oaks and take your next courageous steps into recovery.