The LGBT Community and Addiction: There is Hope at New Hope

NewHopeMainDid you know that the LGBT population is at a higher risk for addiction? This risk begins in adolescence where LGB youth have been found to be two to five times more likely to use alcohol and drugs when compared to heterosexual youth. Unfortunately, this trend continues into adulthood. Research has found that queer women are more likely to struggle with substance use than their heterosexual counterparts. If these stats aren’t enough to encourage someone struggling with addiction to get help, how about this – a study compiling the results of numerous research studies about women and substance abuse treatment found that women are less likely than men to enter treatment. But the good news is that once women do enter treatment they have just as positive of an outcome as do men. But what about us queer women? I’m sure many of you would not be very comfortable entering a treatment facility surrounded by straight men. Do their needs in recovery match those of queer women, or even queer men for that matter? Some research has shown that treatment is more effective when the problems specifically address the targeted group. But where would such a treatment center exist?

NewHopeLogoA new option for those struggling with addiction here in Chicago has recently become available via the New Hope Recovery Center.  New Hope recently created an LGBT specific addiction recovery program called New Hope with Pride. I had the pleasure of sitting down with the President, Jeffrey Zacharias, to talk with him about their new recovery options for the LGBTQI community. New Hope celebrated their one year anniversary under Jeff’s ownership this past June and, along with their anniversary, they launched New Hope With Pride. This treatment program is specifically tailored for the LGBTQI community. The staff recognizes that designing an addiction recovery program for the specific needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex individuals would result in clients feeling more comfortable with the program, and therefore increase their success in recovery. As Jeff said in our interview, “Going to treatment is about getting real, and authentic, and raw, and going to the core of it.” In order to help clients feel comfortable getting to the core of their addictions, New Hope offers treatment groups specific to one’s sexual orientation and gender identity.

New Hope can help those struggling with a multitude of addictions. In my interview, Jeff acknowledged that addiction rarely presents as a single struggle. Often people have many layers to their fight with addiction, such as both drugs and disordered eating, or stimulants and gambling. Therapists at New Hope address all of the problems that an individual may be dealing with, even if an outside specialist needs to be brought in to ensure that the person is treated as a whole, and not left to find outside help for other challenges they may be having.

Many people avoid recovery because of the high cost of treatment. New Hope offers multiple payment options, and understands the financial challenges that may be faced when attending a recovery program. Services may be covered through private insurance, but for those without insurance, creative ways have also been considered to honor the LGBTQI community and its need for addiction recovery. In June, New Hope offered free assessments, and have even began to look into scholarships to cover the costs of recovery for some individuals. If someone is highly motivated to attain recovery, the staff at New Hope will help them find a way to attain and maintain their recovery. New Hope staff takes pride in their dedication to the community and providing wellness.

Entering an addiction recovery program can be a scary, but necessary step in getting healthy and beating addiction. New Hope makes this process as comfortable as possible from the moment you walk in the door. Instead of feeling like a cold hospital, New Hope feels like you are being welcomed into a spa or retreat. The lighting is warm and inviting, candles are lit emanating calming smells, and the staff greets everyone with a smile. This treatment facility goes above and beyond to help their clients feel comfortable and to treat individuals as a whole. In addition to traditional counseling services, creative approaches are also provided such as art therapy, yoga, nutritionists, and holistic services. New Hope takes the chaos out of treatment, and instead provides a relaxing environment for wellness.

If you are struggling with addiction you can contact New Hope 24 hours a day via phone at (888) 707-4673, or email them at You can also chat live with a staff member on their website at Messages for treatment will receive a response within one hour. Take your first step toward wellness at New Hope With Pride.

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About Dawn

Dawn is a Chicago area native and loves the city she calls home. With a strong passion for both the field of psychology and LGBT issues, she strives to combine the two through gender and sexuality research. As the Women’s Outreach Chair for the Illinois chapter of the Human Rights Campaign she reaches out to the lesbian community to further their involvement in the fight for equality. Whether putting on fundraisers or spreading the word about equality at local festivals, she is always thinking of new ways to serve the LGBT community. When not doing research or fighting for equal rights, she loves to take long walks around the city, enjoy the street festivals, go camping, and hunt for the best Persian food in Chicago!


One Response to “The LGBT Community and Addiction: There is Hope at New Hope”

  1. If God is really rtivelae in the way we understand him and not an absolute constant being for all .then all of our talk about god is just idle chatter about our thoughts and not about an actual Divine Being. Freedom to create our own understanding makes us the creator and the thought about Him becomes our creation. Hmm. Wouldn’t that make us the god of that creation? So we surrender our lives over to ourselves.

    Posted by Lowsexe | February 14, 2014, 6:42 am

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