Transsexual Alcoholism and Drug Addiction Treatment
Transsexuals make up a small but significant part of the alterative lifestyle demographic. Yet there exists higher-than-normal rates for drug and alcohol addiction within this community. Getting treatment for addiction means transsexuals will also have to address issues of their sexual identity and how they impact the individual’s decision making concerning drugs and alcohol.
What makes Transsexual Addiction Treatment Challenging?
Transgender individuals are born into a body that feels strange to them. They may have the appearance of a man or a woman, but inside they feel as if they are a member of the opposite sex. As you can imagine, this can cause a great deal of pain and confusion. Many will self-medicate using illicit drugs or alcohol as a means of escaping the depression and anxiety they feel on a daily basis.
By the time a transsexual individual finds her way to a rehab program, they likely have a full-blown dual diagnosis. Dual diagnosis patients are those who suffer from co-occurring mental health and addiction conditions. They are high-risk patients who are always at risk for suicide or other self-harm behavior.
It takes a special kind of facility to treat dual diagnosis transsexual patients. The treatment center must provide a comprehensive approach to recovery – having both addiction treatment teams and psychiatric professionals on staff. These teams work together to treat every aspect of the individual’s condition in detail.
Transsexual Drug and Alcohol Counseling
While a certain percentage of transsexual drug and alcohol counseling is no different that that found in mainstream programs, there are a number of unique elements that help these individuals live more fulfilling lives. In particular, it is important for the therapist who will conduct the psychological drug treatment and counseling to understand the core reasons behind the individual’s drug and alcohol use. If these behaviors are tied to stress or depression from being a transsexual then these issues will need to be addressed during therapy. Many times, there may be a past instance of physical or sexual abuse that leads the individual to drug use. Once these issues are uncovered and discussed, the transsexual will be in a much better position to address their dependency.
Where do Transsexuals go for Addiction Treatment?
While there are currently a number of programs that specifically treat the GLBT community around the United States, the majority of these facilities can be found in and around major urban centers with a large gay population, including: Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami and New York City.