At Pride Institute, Treatment is Tailor-made for LGBTQ+ Recovery


Recovery from addiction is never a simple thing – and for LGBTQ+ people, the journey can be even tougher, complicated by a host of stress factors unique to our community.

That's where Pride Institute comes in. As America's first LGBTQ+-specific addiction center, the Minneapolis-area facility is still the leader in the field, offering a wide range of addiction-related services tailored to queer people from across the nation and beyond.

The addiction-compounding stressors distinctive to LGBTQ+ people are many, says Kaylee Hoaby, Pride Institute's director of marketing and business development. These factors can include the trauma of the coming out process, internalized homophobia, microaggressions, being fetishized, higher rates of mental health issues, and having to educate their own providers on LGBTQ+ health issues. People in the LGBTQ+ community also tend to use harder substances for longer periods of time to cope with negative messages regarding their identity.

"These are all reasons why it's important to have addiction programming that is tailored to the LGBTQ+ experience," says Hoaby. "At our facility, clients don't have to worry about any of the above factors as their identity is the norm and not the exception."

Not only are mainstream substance use treatment facilities often uninformed about LGBTQ+ issues, their programs frequently incorporate outdated beliefs regarding the relationship between addiction and the LGBTQ+ experience, which can actually be barriers to successful treatment for queer people.

Pride Institute prides itself on nurturing personal growth, resiliency, and overall wellness for the individuals in their care. That compassion has helped it build a strong network of alumni who support and encourage each other during and after treatment. Hoaby even hosts a podcast dedicated to these alums and their stories called Proud Voices.

Opened in 1986 as a direct response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic, today Pride Institute offers a robust array of treatment services and aftercare programs. Often the first of these that its clients experience is its residential program, which allows staff to provide round-the-clock support and guidance to individuals struggling with substance use disorder, and to help them develop the skills they need to live sober lives.

For those who have either already completed a residential program or need an intensive level of care but are unable to commit to a residential program, there's Pride Institute's partial hospitalization program (PHP). While a step down from residential care, PHP ensures that individuals will still receive the support they need to maintain their sobriety. PHP's lodging component also allows clients to alternate between time in treatment and time with family and friends.

Pride Institute's intensive outpatient program (or IOP) is designed for individuals who have completed residential treatment and are looking for a less intensive level of care. IOP allows clients to get the help they need while giving them the flexibility to rebuild their lives outside of the program.

Many people battle other disorders in addition to their addictions. For those individuals, Pride Institute offers its co-occurring disorders treatment program, which allows folks struggling with addiction to get the help they need for both their substance use disorder as well as underlying mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, and trauma. Treatments are individually tailored to meet each client's unique needs.

One of the most insidious aspects of addiction is that it damages relationships and further isolates individuals experiencing addiction. Pride Institute's LGBTQ+ family program helps patients and their defined families reconnect and rebuild broken bonds through education and therapy.

Pride Institute's telehealth services provide additional addiction treatment to those who don't live close to a provider, who have disabilities or limited mobility, or who just prefer to receive treatment in the comfort of their own homes. With digital tools like video conferencing and phone counseling, telehealth can more widely reach individuals struggling with substance use disorder, decreasing wait times for those in need of care and improving overall outcomes.

Pride Institute even offers equine or horse-assisted therapy, a holistic recovery method that offers a break from the typical treatment setting. Clients are offered a weekly opportunity to travel off site with a licensed counselor and attend equine therapy sessions. Staffers say that equine therapy has led to improved rapport between clients and staff, reduced anxiety in clients, and increased odds of successful recovery.

With its main campus located just west of Minneapolis in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, Pride Institute sits on five beautiful acres with a quiet, wooded area and a creek flowing nearby. Peaceful and private, this campus is an ideal setting to find serenity and begin your recovery journey.

Pride Institute's outpatient facility is located in uptown Minneapolis at the heart of a highly artistic and progressive area of the city that's easily accessible by public transport and popular among residents. For those clients coming from and returning to farther afield than the Twin Cities area, Pride Institute can help coordinate localized aftercare services wherever you may be.

If you or someone you love has been seeking treatment for addiction, reach out to the caring and compassionate Pride Institute staff for more information at 888-492-2194, online at the Pride Institute website, or via their online form, and begin your recovery journey today.

by Dale Pauly

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