Treatment Magazine

Book review:
Fundamentals of LGBT Substance Use Disorders, written by Michael Shelton

NY -11/21/2016- When it comes to treating LGBT substance abuse know this: we are the same but different from our straight counterparts. While treatment and intervention for alcoholism and addiction in lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans patients often mirrors that offered in the general population, if it does not acknowledge the complexity of the experiences, emotions and challenges faced by LGBT patients, it renders the risk of being rendered ineffective, counterproductive or even detrimental to recovery.

In “Fundamentals of LGBT Substance Use Disorders” the the new book released by Columbia University Press-distributed LGBTQ publisher Harrington Park Press, Philadelphia clinician Michael Shelton sums up what is known about the prevalence of of LGBT substance abuse and treatment , and emphasizes the importance of affirmative therapy practices – counseling that supports and embraces client sexual identity.

The book looks at not onlky how lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, and transgender individuals differ in their susceptibility to substance abuse and treatment, but stresses that treatment programs must consider many additional factors, including race, ethnicity, age, family relations and place of residence in order to succeed.

Shelton’s new book continues work done by Dana G Finnigan and Emily B McNally, the married lesbian professional counseling couple widely considered two unsung heroes of LGBT substance abuse specialty research and counseling.

The book is the first new comprehensive resource for LGBT substance abuse counselors to be released since a free government-funded guide was released by SAMHSA fifteen years ago, in 2001.

While there have been significant LGBT cultural victories since the study of of LGBT substance use began, there remains a dearth of specially trained counselors.

Shelton’s book is at once at once an introduction, textbook and handbook for LGBT substance abuse for counselors everywhere.