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Recovery Centers of America at Indianapolis Launches New Specialized Addiction Program for LGBTQIA+ Population in Midwest

Recovery Centers of America

Authored by Recovery Centers of America


Indianapolis, IN//June 30, 2021//                   Recovery Centers of America (RCA) at Indianapolis has launched a groundbreaking new program targeting addiction among the LGBTQIA+ community in the Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Kentucky, and Ohio region. The specialized program, called Acceptance, is receiving strong support from sexual and gender minority patients at other RCA locations. The Indianapolis area RCA facility is part of an extensive RCA national addiction treatment network in six states offering specialized evidence-based SUD treatment programs, such as Acceptance and RESCU, for first responders, that are affordable and accessible.

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.

Currently, 10 % of patients at another RCA location, RCA Capital Region, choose the specialized LGBTQIA+ treatment program. RCA also offers the Acceptance program at its Danvers, Massachusetts treatment center.

Diana Williams, MSW, RCSW, Clinical Director at RCA at Indianapolis, says this is validated by RCA’s experience. Williams says that LGBTQIA+ patients at RCA’s other Acceptance locations respond 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,” she 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 will learn to identify what their challenges are and how that morphs into their substance abuse problem,” explained Williams. “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, Williams stated that LGBTQIA+ patients form a particularly strong bond when they are in a separate “neighborhood” within the treatment center 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 Indianapolis 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. “Many of the staff working on this unit are also part of the community or LGBTQIA+ allies, which also helps the patients feel more comfortable in the treatment setting.”

About Recovery Centers of America
Recovery Centers of America (1-800-RECOVERY) provides evidence-based addiction care at 10 inpatient treatment centers, 8 outpatient facilities, and 5 opioid treatment programs spanning Indiana, Illinois, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. Four RCA substance use disorder treatment facilities were named 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].

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Recovery Centers of America

Recovery Centers of America



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