Who is Monarch?

Monarch is a respected and trusted leader in the mental and behavioral health field. Originally the Arc of Stanly County, Inc., our organization was founded in 1958 to assist in the development and care of children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DDs), and to help their families. In 2022, Monarch served more than 28,800 individuals with neurocognitive disorders, mental illness and substance use disorders from 97 counties across North Carolina.

Because Monarch is both a behavioral health and I/DD provider, we are uniquely positioned to create resources like “Understanding Addiction and Developmental Disabilities” that meet people and their support systems where they are. This curriculum offers accessible and easy-to-use resources that fulfill an emerging need not yet adequately addressed by the treatment community.

How was this developed?

The “Understanding Addiction and Developmental Disabilities” curriculum was developed with the assistance and consultation of experts in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and Substance Use Disorders. This group, along with individuals with lived experience and their families, determined which recovery topics to include and how to best present the information to be easy to understand and learn.

The curriculum is informed by evidence-based practices and was designed to meet the specific needs of the people who will benefit from it. The videos and companion materials provide a flexible and approachable program for discussion and learning that can be used with individuals or groups, showing what recovery looks like for the person with an addiction and those in their support system.

How serious are substance use disorders in the I/DD community?

There is very little data available on rates of substance use disorders among those with I/DDs and other cognitive impairments like borderline intellectual functioning, autism spectrum disorders and traumatic brain injury. Only a few articles published in journals focus on identification and treatment of substance use disorder in this population.
This suggests a serious problem that is hard to study because:
Addiction does not discriminate and the I/DD population is vulnerable:

“Understanding Addiction and Developmental Disabilities” is Monarch’s answer to this challenge.