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Specialized Treatment Programs Sparse for Gay and Lesbian Clients, SAMHSA Says

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The lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) population has higher rates of addiction than the general population in the U.S., but only a fraction of treatment programs offer services designed specifically to meet their cultural needs, according to a new study from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

SAMHSA reported that 6 percent of 13,688 treatment programs said they had specialized services for gays and lesbians, who make up an estimated 3-8 percent of the U.S. population.

Privately run, for-profit treatment programs were more likely to offer a gay and lesbian track than public programs or those operated by nonprofit organizations. Just 2.6 percent of federal treatment programs had services for gays and lesbians, for example, compared to 7 percent of programs run by private, for-profit entities.

The study, Substance Abuse Treatment Programs for Gays and Lesbians, is available online at SAMHSA’s Office of Applied Sciences website (PDF). 

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