New Method Wellness Now Offers LGBTQ-Inclusive Addiction Program

by Winnie McCroy

EDGE Editor

Tuesday August 30, 2016

This summer, New Method Wellness, an Orange County-based rehab facility taking a holistic approach to substance abuse treatment, announced the launch of its LGBTQ-inclusive addiction program.

"When I was speaking with LGBT staff members, we discussed how we wanted to create an avenue for LGBTs who suffer more from addiction and substance abuse than the general population," said co-creator Parris Wells, Director of Marketing for New Method Wellness.

According to the Center of American Progress, it is estimated that between 20 to 30 percent of the gay and transgender community suffer from substance abuse, compared to approximately nine percent of the general population. These alarming statistics led the New Method Wellness to expand its programming to fit the specific needs and social challenges faced by the LGBTQ community. 

So Wells did research into addiction in the LGBT community, and worked for six to eight months to established a program. She believes that it addresses the specific requirements for LGBT therapy and treatment of substance abuse by tackling the issues of isolation, depression, sexual identity, and other issues that originate within the community.

"I feel like there weren't enough treatment centers that catered to these needs," said Wells. "We also wanted to make sure we had gender and sexual identity groups to address deep-seated issues that can come from adolescence and be carried into adulthood."

Cultural issues and hatred toward LGBTs lead to discrimination, which is isolating. This can drive people to substance abuse. While the general population can also suffer from these issues, when it comes to the LGBT community, there is a definite societal and cultural isolation that calls for more tailored resources.

"There isn't a one-size-fit-all approach to addiction treatment," explained DeAnna Jordan, clinical director at New Method Wellness. "The LGBTQ community faces many different triggers than the general population. It's important for rehabilitation centers to understand the cultural challenges the LGBTQ community experiences daily, and is equipped to support their specific needs."

Wells wanted to make sure that they did more than just slap an "LGBT-sensitive" label on a regular support group, so she made sure that they had groups tailored to these issues, led by therapists that were trained to deal with these issues.

"Thirty percent of the staff themselves are LGBTQ, and want to make sure that there is a community established within New Method Wellness to ensure the clients have someone they can rely on," said Wells. "We are also working to create a subcommunity of LGBT alumni to hold BBQs, share sobriety tips, and create more of a community. Because the opposite of addiction is not sobriety; it's connection."
 
Key triggers such as, intense feelings of isolation, rejection, abuse, and discrimination as a direct result of their sexual identity, are contributing factors to these higher rates. New Method Wellness' LGBTQ addiction treatment program aims to address the fundamental, and often deeply-seeded, trauma experienced by the LGBTQ community. With emphasis in dual diagnosis and trauma treatment, New Method Wellness' highly-trained staff treats members of the LGBTQ community with the sensitivity and experience required for a positive and long-lasting journey of recovery.

This dual diagnoses treatment options gives clients a buffet-style treatment plan, where they can address any co-disorders like anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or any other mental health disorders, as well as addiction. They will meet with a doctor, psychiatrist and staff nurse, who will help create a treatment plan for them. Wells foresees that this type of culturally-sensitive treatment programs will become the norm.

"If there's not a trend already moving in that direction, New Method Wellness will make sure we put the resources into the LGBT plan to make it more common," said Wells.

New Method Wellness offers the following services:

  • Gender / Sexuality Groups
  • Individual Therapy
  • Dual Diagnosis
  • Trauma Treatment
  • Family Sensitivity Therapy
  • 12 Step LGBTQ Meetings
  • Outpatient Treatment
  • Extended Aftercare
     
    New Method Wellness provides individualized substance abuse treatment by allowing for physical recovery in a safe, structured and loving environment and inspiring the process of growth necessary for the maintenance of sobriety. New Method Wellness uses different therapeutic methods, recreation therapy, family support, and sober lifestyle immersion to engage their clients in their own recovery. New Method Wellness believes recovery is client-driven and provides their clients with the necessary resources and tools to effectively discover not just how to get sober, but how to stay sober. 

  • Winnie McCroy is the Women on the EDGE Editor, HIV/Health Editor, and Assistant Entertainment Editor for EDGE Media Network, handling all women's news, HIV health stories and theater reviews throughout the U.S. She has contributed to other publications, including The Village Voice, Gay City News, Chelsea Now and The Advocate, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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