Do specialized services exist for LGBT individuals seeking treatment for substance misuse? A study of available treatment programs

Subst Use Misuse. 2007;42(1):161-76. doi: 10.1080/10826080601094207.


Substance abuse research has demonstrated that client sexual orientation influences treatment outcomes. Consequently, many substance user treatment programs offer services for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals. In a recent search of SAMHSA treatment listings, 11.8% (N=911) of substance user treatment programs (including residential, outpatient, and partial hospitalization) in the United States and Puerto Rico indicated that they offer specialized services for LGBT clients. However, a telephone survey we conducted in 2003-2004 revealed that 70.8% of these "LGBT" programs were no different from services offered to the general population, and only 7.4% could identify a service specifically tailored to the needs of LGBT clients. Implications for LGBT individuals seeking services are discussed, the study's limitations are noted, and future research directions are identified.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Homosexuality / statistics & numerical data*
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health Services / supply & distribution*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Program Development*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Puerto Rico / epidemiology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / prevention & control
  • Substance-Related Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States / epidemiology