WALDORF, Md., March 4, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Recovery Centers of America's Capital Region treatment facility has launched a groundbreaking new program targeting addiction among the LGBTQIA+ community in the DC/MD/VA region. According to Recovery Centers of America (RCA), the specialized program is receiving strong support from sexual and gender minority patients. Currently, 10 % of all RCA Capital Region patients choose the new specialized substance use disorder (SUD) treatment program, called Acceptance. The Washington D.C. area RCA facility is part of an extensive national addiction treatment network offering affordable, accessible evidence-based SUD treatment.
People who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer/questioning (LGBTQIA+) often face social stigma, discrimination, and other challenges not encountered by the heterosexual and cisgender community. These major challenges faced by the LGBTQIA+ population can include harassment and violence. Consequently, sexual minorities are at increased risk for various behavioral health issues, including substance use disorder.
Data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) suggests that substance misuse by adult sexual minorities is higher compared to heterosexual adults. Past year opioid use (including misuse of prescription opioids or heroin use) was higher with 9% of sexual minority adults aged 18 or older reporting use compared to 3.8% among the overall adult population. The NSDUH survey also shows that alcohol use disorder among sexual minority young adults (ages 18-25) is higher, with 12.4% reporting a disorder, compared to 10.1% in the overall population.
Some studies have shown that addiction treatment programs offering specialized treatment groups for LGBTQIA+ patients have better outcomes than those in non-specialized programs.
Marcus Smith LCPC, LPC, CCTP, ACHE, Clinical Director for RCA Capital Region, says this is validated by RCA's experience. He says that LGBTQIA+ patients at RCA are responding better to treatment when they have their own physical space within the treatment center and their own programming. "There are not a lot of programs at the inpatient level for this population. By providing a safe space at RCA, including separate therapy groups and designated therapists certified to address the special needs of this community, LGBTQIA+ patients have the best possible path to recovery," he explained.
Current research suggests that treatment for sexual and gender minorities should address unique factors in these patients' lives that may include homophobia/transphobia, family problems, violence, and social isolation.
"Patients learn to identify what their challenges are and how that morphs into their substance abuse problem," explained Smith. "When the addiction is in place, the SUD has to be the primary concern but there are generally other underlying behavioral health issues. Once the addiction is treated, you can work on these underlying identity challenges. We are finding that it really moves them forward in their recovery."
Additionally, Smith stated that LGBTQIA+ patients form a particularly strong bond when they are in the RCA Acceptance Program as they work together towards meaningful recovery. This bond continues outside the walls of the treatment center where RCA's extensive alumni network fosters support and friendship in recovery through numerous social, educational, and cultural programs that foster sobriety.
All RCA Capital Region staff have been trained to be more sensitive to the needs of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex and others in that community so that the entire treatment environment is LGBTQIA+ friendly. Other specialized programs that are offered at RCA Capital region include the renowned PRISE program for patients who have relapsed and a program tailored to those who have experienced trauma called Breaking Free. RCA Capital Region is located less than 30 miles south of Washington D.C. in Waldorf, MD.
The Acceptance program is also offered at the RCA treatment center in Danvers, MA.
About Recovery Centers of America Recovery Centers of America (1-800-Recovery) is based in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania and provides evidence-based addiction care at 10 inpatient treatment centers, 8 outpatient facilities, and 5 opioid treatment programs spanning Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Indiana, and Chicagoland. Four RCA substance use disorder treatment facilities were recently named as 2020 best U.S. treatment facilities that focus on addiction by a leading national statistics firm and media outlet. RCA has also pioneered a successful comprehensive telehealth addiction treatment program to expand services to patients. For media interviews, contact [email protected].