The Center for Network Therapy has opened an LGBT-specific substance abuse program in Middlesex County, New Jersey. The Recover with Pride program will fill a gap in the addiction service delivery system that currently exists for sexual minorities in the state.
CNT is the first, and so far the only, facility in New Jersey to be licensed by the state to provide detoxification for all substances (alcohol, anesthetics, benzodiazepines, opiates, and others) on an intensive outpatient basis.
CNT Clinical Director Eddie J. Mann MSW, LCADC, CCS has over 30 years of experience treating individuals with substance abuse and other co-occurring disorders. He believes that specialized services for sexual minorities are crucial. “When an individual is in treatment for drug and alcohol
dependency, it can be stigmatizing. That is why recovery communities are so important. For individuals who identify as LGBT, it can be difficult to find affirmative treatment facilities, and this can negatively impact recovery.”
“We believe in equal access to comprehensive and holistic treatment,” says CNT Medical Director Indra Cidambi MD, a Board-Certified Psychiatrist who is also certified by the American Society of
Addiction Medicine with over a decade of experience working with LGBT individuals and individuals with substance use and other co-occurring disorders. The program is Dr. Cidambi’s brainchild. After years of working with this population, her idea has come to fruition in the form of a state of the art program that is specific to the LGBT population.
“Recover with Pride” is a program that provides a safe environment where individuals can talk about their experiences with addiction and sobriety, including stressors unique to being LGBT. Stressors can include coming out, experience of discrimination, intimate partner experiences, transgender experience, and issues related to family of origin and/or family of choice.”
In order to ensure program efficacy, the program has incorporated the input from professional experts in the LGBT community. The lack of comprehensive substance abuse services in LGBT-affirmative settings is something that needs to be addressed.
Substance use disorders occur at alarming rates within the LGBT community. Services to meet the needs of these individuals continue to be scarce. In 2007, research indicated there were approximately 60 agencies in the entire United States offering specialized services for LGBTs and half of the agencies were located in New York and California. This left the majority of LGBT people in a precarious position with regard to comprehensive substance abuse treatment.
If you would like more information about the Recover with Pride Program, email Ed Mann at CNTdirector@gmail.com or call 732-560-1080. The website is at www.RecoveryCNT.com.