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LGBTQIA+ Inclusive Teen Treatment Center

Families, peers, and professionals can help prevent teen substance use by showing support for all young people – and ensuring LGBTQIA+ teens have equal access to help and support.

At Ember Recovery, we provide LGBTQIA+ inclusive teen addiction treatment to ensure the needs of this youth community are met. All staff are trained extensively in how to provide inclusive, respectful care. Some staff working in Ember Recovery also identify as LGBTQIA+ and can navigate LGBTQIA+ issues more naturally.

Inclusive Adolescent Drug and Alcohol Rehab

Recent studies have indicated that substance use is a growing problem among youth. Still, there’s a higher risk among gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex, and asexual teens.[1] Substance use in sexual minority teens could be caused by feeling marginalized in society, seeking relief for depression or feelings of isolation, or desiring to alleviate the stress associated with stigmas.

These teens may be harassed, stigmatized, or rejected by peers and family, leading to stress that may drive them to drugs and alcohol as a way to cope. A study published in 2018 showed that LGBTQIA+ teens are 12% more likely to use drugs than their heterosexual or cis-gender counterparts.[2]

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Risk Factors for Substance Use in LGBTQIA+ Teens

All teens are subject to struggles with mental health issues, peer pressure, bullying, harassment, and identity concerns that can lead to substance use. But among the LGBTQIA+ community, these factors are amplified.


The LGBTQIA+ community has received greater acceptance in recent years, but it’s still heavily stigmatized. These individuals may feel excluded from social groups or activities, disconnected from peer groups, or bullied and attacked for their individual identities.

Worse yet, the chance of physical assault increased by 17% when LGBTQIA+ teens are “out” and open about their sexuality or sexual or gender identity – or even by mere suspicion.[3] They may also encounter sexual harassment based on their gender identity and expression.

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Parental Support

Parental support is crucial during the adolescent years. Without this support, teens may feel less included and loved. While the majority of teens feel supported by an adult family member or parent, less than half of LGBTQIA+ teens feel this way.

This is compounded by the reaction parents may have when their teen comes out as LGBTQIA+. Unfortunately, some parents aren’t supportive of their children’s identity, leading them to fear coming out and suppressing their emotions. Some parents reject their children or subject them to mistreatment, violence, or abandonment – up to 40% of homeless youth are LGBTQIA+.[4]

Minority Stress

When members of a group are stigmatized by mainstream society by their unique identifiers like sexual orientation or gender identity, they experience minority stress. This can manifest in many ways, but it typically occurs as the result of a tragedy related to a hate crime.

Dealing with this trauma can be challenging for LGBTQIA+ youth, especially if they lack a strong support system from parents and peers.


There are a lot of harmful stereotypes in the LGBTQIA+ community, a lot of which surround how a teen expresses their gender identity. If they don’t fit the “traditional” interpretation of their gender assigned at birth, they may be subjected to more harassment.

For example, gay or bisexual boys who express themselves in more traditionally masculine ways receive less harassment and bullying than more feminine gay or bisexual boys. The same can be true for masculine and feminine expression in gay or bisexual girls.

LGBTQIA+ teens are at a greater risk for substance use due to these risk factors and external forces.

Residential Addiction Treatment for LGBTQIA+ Teens

Ember Recovery offers residential LGBTQIA+ inclusive treatment for teens designed specifically for the challenges of substance use and adolescence. In our program, teens will have 24/7 monitoring of their health and a personalized treatment plan that considers the environment and peer groups that will make them most comfortable.

The program will include a tailored combination of individual and group therapy to help teens identify negative thoughts and behaviors, learn to socialize effectively and break down the barriers to coping with day-to-day life and stress without drugs or alcohol.

Our admissions process begins with a thorough evaluation of mental and physical health and substance use history. Depending on the individual, the treatment may also include medication to address withdrawal symptoms or mental health conditions.

Our process is entirely transparent and open, so parents can feel at ease knowing their teen is in warm, welcoming, and supportive hands. Once the program is complete, we may suggest follow-up programs for teens and/or family members.

How Is Ember Recovery Different?

LGBTQIA+ teen addiction treatment requires understanding the unique risk factors for teens in this community. At Ember Recovery, we are inclusive, welcoming, and experienced with this community to offer strong support for your LGBTQIA+ teen to heal and move forward.

From the first consultation, we work with families to determine the most appropriate location for treatment. Often, LGBTQIA+ teens benefit from residential treatment with the gender they identify with to provide a peer group of teens with similar struggles. But if your teen prefers a different setting, we’ll work with you to determine the safest, most comfortable, and most successful environment.

LGBTQIA+ teens are at an increased risk of social isolation and substance use – they need to know they’re not alone. Ember Recovery provides inclusive addiction treatment for all teens, including those struggling with addiction as members of the LGBTQIA+ community.


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