Greenhouse Treatment Center, a leading addiction treatment provider in Texas, has expanded its services to include a specialized track focused on the particular needs of the LGBTQ+ population. Mental illness, substance use and addiction are found at higher rates in the LGBTQ+ community. According to research, 20 to 30% of the LGBTQ+ population has a substance use disorder compared to 9% of the overall U.S. population.
Maggie Robertson, a licensed master’s-level therapist who has worked in addiction treatment for more than 10 years, oversees the program and was instrumental in its creation. As a member of the community herself and a personal experience with addiction, Robertson has a deep understanding of the level of support needed.
“Many don’t understand the evolution of addiction in the lives of some in the LGBTQ community,” said Robertson. “Often, alcohol and/or drugs are picked up not with the intention of developing a habit, but to numb themselves from emotional trauma inflicted or experienced. While addiction is, in fact, a disease, it also acts as a form of escapism.”
Greenhouse Treatment Center designed the program to address the unique circumstances that LGBTQ+ people face, including stigma. The group teaches individuals strategies for handling the stress around them, navigating their struggles and processing trauma all while taking care of themselves. Some of the track’s topics include history of the LGBTQ community, family dynamics, healthy relationships, stigma/stereotypes and transgender issues.
The LGBTQ+ group currently takes place twice weekly, but due to popular demand, the facility is looking at offering the sessions more frequently. There is also interest in involving the community at large.
“This is a very powerful component of treatment for LGBTQ+ individuals,” said Tyler Harrell, COO of Greenhouse Treatment Center. “There is a significant LGBTQ+ community in our area, and many suffering with addiction. Greenhouse is honored to provide the safe space they need to get help.”