The following points are often overlooked in the promotional activities of mainstream substance abuse treatment organizations. Note that messages that reach LGBT individuals through mainstream media can be especially powerful.

• Advertise programs and events in LGBT periodicals as well as in the mainstream press and those publications that are geared to particular cultural communities.

• Create LGBT-sensitive public service announcements (PSAs) about your services for radio and television. Lobby the stations to carry the PSAs by personally meeting with the public service director.

• When producing cable TV programs on drug addiction and recovery for distribution to local public access cable stations, include LGBT clients and staff.

• Include articles by and about recovering LGBT individuals in newsletters.

• Submit articles about substance abuse issues in LGBT communities to LGBT periodicals as well as to the mainstream press and those publications that are geared to particular cultural communities.

Community Relations Policies and Procedures

Following are some suggestions for developing a seamless plan of communication and support between mainstream substance abuse treatment centers and LGBT communities.

• Provide speakers on substance abuse issues to LGBT organizations.

• Encourage staff to join boards, task forces, and commissions that advocate for empowerment on behalf of LGBT clients.

• Support LGBT-specific events in the community (dances, readings by LGBT writers, theater and music performances, and LGBT pride marches) through sponsorship, staff support, advertising, and distribution of announcements or by cosponsoring such events with LGBT communities.

• Form relationships with local LGBT and women’s bookstores; provide space for them to sell books at events held at your agency.

• Provide an information booth at LGBT street fairs, as well as at events geared to specific cultural communities.

• Sponsor drug- and alcohol-free social events and sporting activities for LGBT individuals.

• Enlist the help of recovering LGBT substance abusers who might be willing to serve as mentors or sponsors for LGBT clients in your treatment facility.

• Help advocates for LGBT substance abuse services be represented on local, State, and Federal planning and policy boards.