Jacksonville, FL (PressExposure) November 28, 2006 -- Jacksonville, November 11th, 2006 - For those suffering from the disease of drug addiction and alcoholism, recovery has been challenging at best. For the gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender population it has proven even more difficult with regards to identifying a drug rehab or alcohol rehab that is sensitive to the needs of the gay community. This is a high priority as the gay population has suffered from prejudice, discrimination and homophobia at the hands of the heterosexual population. Having a drug rehab program where the gay or lesbian can focus on the underlying issues of their addiction and sexuality, without ridicule from heterosexual addicts and alcoholics is of paramount importance. To meet that need, Lakeview Health Systems has designed an addiction treatment program component called "Freedom Rings". Freedom Rings, specializes in treatment of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT ) population as it relates to drug addiction, alcoholism and dual diagnosis.
Should someone who is gay, attend an all gay drug rehab or a drug rehab with a gay addiction treatment component?, Jonathan Huttner, one of the principals of Lakeview Health Systems states, "After careful research my partners and I felt that the most effective type of drug rehab for the gay community should be a drug rehab that best reflected the real world. We designed an addiction treatment component to address their specific clinical needs such as; coming out, internalized homophobia, discrimination, sexual preference issues, shame or sexual trauma while, at the same time, providing them with daily interaction with the heterosexual population. We believe that this type of drug rehab environment provides them with the best of both worlds.
"GLBTQ clients did not choose their sexuality. They did not choose to be discriminated against, scorned or ridiculed" Says Kristie Overstreet, the coordinator of the Freedom Rings program at Lakeview. Lakeview's philosophy is to promote a healthy, happy and productive life for all, no matter what their sexual orientation, race or religion might be. It is time that more alcohol rehabs and addiction treatment programs acknowledge that when treating someone gay, they might be better suited to attend a drug rehab with a gay-sensitive staff and environment.