Looking for LGBTQ Drug Rehab

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Discharged from US Navy in 2001 “as a covenience to the government” and diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder w/Schizoid Features. Went home and started using meth on a regular basis, soon selling drugs to support my habit. Busted with two ounces of cocaine in 2001 and sentenced to 5 years intensive probation and a class 2 felony. After failing a number of drug tests, I was arrested for violation of the terms of my probation and stayed in jail for five months until a bed at a local state run drug treatment facility opened up. Stayed clean after graduating the program for 2 and a half years. The day I got off probation, I began using again like I had never stopped. In March of 2011 I was pulled over for driving on a suspended license and arrested. I had 1.75 grams of meth in my right pocket. On December 5th, I was sentenced to Drug Court Probation. I drop six times a week and go to alot of recovery related groups through my mental health care provider. I am waiting once again on a bed at the same state run drug treatment facility. I am pretty sure that you folks can’t help me, because to get quality drug treatment for the most part you must have lots of money.

I want to know why there are not more gay/lesbian oriented treatment centers in this country? If it’s the last thing I accomplish in life, I will complete treatment again, get my master’s in clinical psychology, and open a much needed drug treatment center targeted at the gay population and make it affordable or an option for anyone who wants the help.

In addition to BPD, I am diagnosed with PTSD and Severe Depressive Disorder and Bipolar NOS. The latter conditions developed most likely as a result of my substace abuse and failure to get help for BPD. When I was a child my dad’s girlfriend molested my brother and I and made us do horrible things to one another cause I guess it got her off. My mother got sole custody, married the Grand Dragon of the KKK in our city and we moved away.

My stepfather caught me with another little boy when I was maybe seven and decided he could cure me of my homosexuality type behaviour by making me take off all my clothing and throwing me outside the front door of our home in a suburban neighborhood as I cried and screamed and pounded on the front door to be let back in. Within a few minutes I had attracted the attention of some kids on bikes who began to throw rocks and laugh at me. It was bad..whenever I had a sexual thought about a boy after that I would punch myself in the head and hope it would go away. I never really accepted my sexuality until leaving the Navy at 23. And as much as I want to believe I was born gay, I will always wonder if that sick b who did that to me and my brother is the only reason I am gay. It just makes sense that gay themed treatment centers would be better for someone like myself to successfully recover.

A: You’re right that having a therapist who you feel understands you is key to successful treatment. I applaud you for wanting to use your own experiences to help others. Needless to say, you need to get yourself together before you can be successful.

The kind of center you wish for may not be available but there are certainly good therapists who can relate to you. Go to this link to find gay-friendly treatment.

Terrible things were done to you when you were a child. They undoubtedly had impact on your sense of self and your ability to deal with the world. It’s likely that your history of drug abuse is at least partly an attempt to self-medicate in order to get away from the pain. But as you’ve already found, it doesn’t really work. It may make you feel better for a time but it is getting in the way of longer-term peace of mind and success in life.

I hope you can find the inner strength and the outer supports to finally get substance abuse out of your life and to do the therapeutic work you need to do. Don’t let the lack of an LGBTQ center become the reason you don’t do it. There are good LGBTQ therapists in your city who can help you put together a comprehensive treatment program.

You still have well over half your life to go. With the right help and with personal commitment, you can make the next half better.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 19 Feb 2012

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2012). Looking for LGBTQ Drug Rehab. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 24, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2012/02/19/looking-for-lgbtq-drug-rehab/