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Providing Affirming Care for LGBTQ+ People in
Substance Use Treatment Settings

The Opioid Response Network (ORN), in partnership with Columbia University Department of Psychiatry Division on Substance Use Disorders, has created a one-of a-kind web-based training that will help substance use disorder treatment providers deliver more affirming care to their LGBTQ+ clients. The course will:

  • Provide an introduction to terminology related to gender, sexuality and LGBTQ+ communities;
  • Discuss why substance use uniquely impacts LGBTQ+ communities;
  • Include stories from LGBTQ+ individuals about their experiences in substance use disorder treatment and perspectives from providers who work with LGBTQ+ clients; and
  • Include instructive videos featuring staff and LGBTQ+ clients interacting within substance use disorder treatment settings.

This new training will help participants identify key components of care for LGBTQ+ people, and how to make the treatment environment and staff interactions more welcoming for LGBTQ+ clients by: 

  • Respecting privacy;
  • Modeling affirming interactions; and
  • Addressing stigma. 

Participants will develop skills to improve their delivery of affirming care to LGBTQ+ people and determine changes they would like to make in their own organizations with support from the ORN.


Margaret Paschen-Wolff, DrPH, MSW; Jeremy D. Kidd MD, MPH; Avery DeSousa, BA; Theresa V. Navalta, BA; and the Community Advisory Board.
How else can ORN help you? ORN has several workgroups to ensure for the provision of population appropriate training and education. Working with our Sexuality and Gender Diversity Workgroup, ORN can support your needs addressing opioid and stimulant use disorders within LGBTQ+ communities. Visit www.OpioidResponseNetwork.org and submit your request. Within one business day a technology transfer specialist will respond to learn more about your request and determine how ORN can help. Questions? Email orn@aaap.org.

If you would like to sign up for Opioid Response Network newsletters please contact jane@aaap.org with the subject line: Please add me to the ORN Newsletter.

orn@aaap.org 401 270-5900
Funding for this initiative was made possible (in part) by grant no. 1H79TI083343 from SAMHSA. The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.