SOURCE: BLVD Treatment Centers

BLVD Treatment Centers

May 10, 2016 15:00 ET

BLVD Treatment Pioneers First-Ever "LGBTQ-Affirmative Track" Empowering Substance Abuse Sufferers in Los Angeles, CA

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwired - May 10, 2016) - BLVD Treatment Centers in Hollywood, CA, is reclaiming the word "Affirmative."

The substance abuse treatment brand created their one-of-a-kind LGBTQ-affirmative track to address the specialized needs of the LGBTQ community. Too often, these individuals are treated with smiles but not with inclusiveness or understanding -- for substance abuse sufferers undergoing addiction therapy, this is a crucial aspect of treatment and can alienate their connection to the very people they've come to for help.

BLVD's Chief Clinical Officer Lauren Costine, PhD., was responsible for designing the Track.

"An affirmative stance makes a big difference in treating substance use disorders," says Dr. Costine. "We empower our clients by helping them authentically love their sexual orientation and gender identity so they are no longer affected by the opinions of others. The attitude is, 'I like me for me, and if you don't like me for me that is your problem, not mine.'"

As early as childhood, those in the LGBTQ community are subjected to unique prejudices that have negative, lifelong consequences. Stigma and alienation from family, friends, and society reinforce a feeling of "not being normal" or "not being a part of the world's collective fabric." Growing up in a society that demoralizes same-sex love and gender variance creates toxic shame and a feeling of being un-lovable, which can become internalized. Many individuals turn to drugs to alleviate their distress and, over time, slip into addiction.

The LGBTQ-affirmative Track allows BLVD to treat the person's substance addiction while addressing and treating the trauma of growing up in a heteronormative society. During one-on-one therapy, group therapy, and participation in community events, clients learn about heterosexism, LGBTQ-phobias, safe relationships, and are taught about prominent LGBTQ figures in history and culture. Through these efforts and more, individuals are empowered to discover healthy feelings of intimacy, love, sex, and how to love themselves.

BLVD's programs are geared towards building community during recovery and help clients go on to build communities in the sober world. The LGBTQ-affirmative Track is planned for inclusion at their new locations opening in San Diego, CA, and Portland, OR, later this year.

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