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


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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