Louisiana is home to diverse landscapes and vibrant cultural history that stretches back hundreds of years. It is also the home of a growing drug abuse problem that affects individuals from all walks of life, as well as their families and communities.
Drug and alcohol abuse—in particular, the nationwide opioid epidemic—has ravaged the lives of countless Louisiana residents. Without effective treatment, substance abuse can cause lasting physical and mental harm, declining quality of life, difficulty maintaining employment and issues within relationships.
Fortunately, Louisiana addiction treatment can help a person heal from addiction and build a meaningful life in sobriety.
Substance Abuse In Louisiana
Heroin, meth, and crack cocaine are often the first drugs that come to mind when discussing addiction, but addiction to any substance can be dangerous. This includes dependence on legal substances like alcohol; drugs that are sometimes perceived as more socially acceptable, like marijuana; and abused prescription drugs, like benzodiazepines, stimulant ADHD medications, and opioid painkillers.
The 2015 Louisiana Behavioral Health Barometer found that in the year prior to the survey:
- 228,000 Louisiana residents aged 12 years and older, or 6 percent of all people in this age bracket, were dependent on or abused alcohol each year from 2013 through 2014.
- 238,000 people 12 and older, or 7.5 percent, were heavy drinkers each year from 2010 through 2014.
- 112,000 people 12 and older, or 2.9 percent, were dependent on or abused illicit drugs per year in 2013 and 2014.
Even with this widespread need for professional addiction treatment, far too few Louisiana residents received the help they needed for a substance use disorder. On average, between 2010 and 2014:
- Only 7.1 percent of people experiencing alcohol dependence or abuse in Louisiana received treatment.
- Only 16.6 percent of people experiencing illicit drug dependence or abuse received treatment.
The Opioid Epidemic’s Impact On Louisiana
Each person who is struggling with addiction comes to substance abuse via a different path, but experts believe that rising rates of opioid abuse share some common factors. The over-prescription of opioid painkillers is proving to be a major factor in opioid abuse.
In 2015, Louisiana’s opioid painkiller prescription rates were higher than the national average. Nationally, there were 70 opioid prescriptions written per 100 people. In Louisiana, there were 103.2—more than one prescription for every state resident.
Prescription opioids were previously the biggest contributor to opioid overdose rates. However, since 2012, heroin and synthetic opioids such as illegally manufactured fentanyl have significantly contributed to this deadly trend.
From 2012 to 2016:
- Heroin-related overdose deaths increased 192.2 percent, from 51 to 149 deaths.
- Synthetic opioid-related overdose deaths increased 368.4 percent, from 19 to 89 deaths.
- In 2016, 346 people tragically lost their lives to opioid-related overdose in Louisiana.
How Louisiana Is Fighting The Opioid Epidemic
Naloxone is an opioid overdose reversal medication that can stop an overdose from becoming fatal. Naloxone has traditionally only been available by prescription, but to fight the mounting death toll caused by the opioid epidemic, Louisiana renewed a standing order for naloxone in early 2018. This allows caregivers and loved ones of individuals who abuse opioids to receive naloxone without a prescription.
Dr. Rebekah Gee, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health, cautioned that “Louisiana has more opioid prescriptions than we have people, and the widespread distribution of Naloxone is a key component of our strategy to combat the opioid epidemic and save lives.”
Further measures in place in Louisiana to combat the opioid epidemic include:
- HOPE Council: The Advisory Council on Heroin and Opioid Prevention and Education’s mission are to operate an Interagency Heroin and Opioid Coordination Plan that will help to spread information and resources helpful in preventing opioid abuse.
- Louisiana Commission on Preventing Opioid Abuse: This group promotes evidence-based strategies that focus on the prevention, treatment, and enforcement of measures to fight prescription opioid and heroin abuse.
On an individual level, one of the biggest resources against drug abuse of any sort is Louisiana drug addiction treatment.
Louisiana Drug And Alcohol Addiction Treatment Programs
Choosing where to seek treatment for a substance use disorder is a potentially life-changing decision. It’s important that the person in need of treatment examines their options. It can be helpful to have family and close friends get involved in this process. Having an active support network is important both during and after treatment.
Sometimes a person isn’t ready to accept that they need treatment. A person experiencing denial may ignore their loved one’s pleas to get help. When this happens, a professionally led intervention can help family and friends to get their loved one the help they need.
After a successful intervention, or once a person decides to seek treatment on their own, a clinical assessment will be performed at the chosen addiction treatment center. This evaluation determines the severity of the addiction and the presence of any co-occurring disorders.
The results of this assessment are used to form a treatment plan that outlines the best Louisiana drug and alcohol addiction treatment programs and combinations of therapies for the client’s unique needs. A treatment plan may include some or all of the following levels of care and specialized services.
Drug And Alcohol Detox
For some, drug and alcohol detox is the first step of treatment before they can start therapy to work on the psychological effects of the addiction. The safest and most effective way to do this is in a Louisiana medically supported detox program.
Withdrawal symptoms can range from mildly uncomfortable to life-threatening, depending on the substance and severity of the addiction. Drugs that commonly require professional detoxification services include:
While outpatient and inpatient facilities may offer this service, due to the danger of some withdrawal symptoms and the need for medical supervision, it’s safer to go through drug and alcohol detox at an inpatient facility.
Methadone and buprenorphine-based medications like Suboxone may be used in a Louisiana drug and alcohol detox program to address opioid addiction. Both reduce or prevent withdrawal symptoms and decrease cravings. Disulfiram (Antabuse) and acamprosate (Campral) are often used to deter a return to alcohol use.
Many Louisiana addiction treatment centers offer drug and alcohol detoxification services under the same roof as their rehabilitation programs. This allows a person to move easily to the next stage of treatment, a stress-free transition that can enhance treatment success rates.
Inpatient Drug And Alcohol Rehab Programs
Louisiana inpatient drug rehab programs offer comprehensive, compassionate care for individuals working to achieve sobriety and regain control of their life. Programs are offered in a variety of formats and lengths to suit each person’s unique needs. Clients live onsite for the duration of treatment, immersed in a sober environment that offers round-the-clock support.
Inpatient addiction treatment is available in 30 or 60-day program lengths, but research has shown that the best success rates occur in programs that are 90 days or longer. These long-term programs can last three months to a year.
Outpatient Drug And Alcohol Rehab Programs
While Louisiana outpatient addiction treatment programs may be sufficient for people who are struggling with the beginning stages of addiction or a mild relapse, they are generally best used as a step-down level of care following an inpatient addiction treatment program.
Rebuilding life in sobriety is often full of new challenges. As a person moves from the structure and support of a residential treatment program back to independence, it can be hard to maintain optimism and adhere to important recovery principles. Louisiana outpatient drug rehab programs can provide a crucial bridge between these points in a person’s recovery journey.
Aftercare And Recovery Support Services
People who get involved in aftercare services and recovery support after completing a Louisiana addiction treatment program often see better recovery outcomes than those who do not. These options include aftercare and alumni programs and sober living arrangements.
Aftercare programs are typically offered by a treatment provider for their program alumni. These outreach services may provide recovery support groups, suggestions for community support programs and alumni mentorship programs.
For individuals who need a little extra help and support while they transition from treatment to a life in sobriety, Louisiana sober living homes may be worth considering. Sober living homes are drug- and alcohol-free residential facilities that give a person the time and space needed to build stability and self-sufficiency.
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Specialized Addiction Treatment Programs In Louisiana
Specialty drug rehab programs offered in Louisiana may include:
- Child-friendly programs
- Dual-diagnosis care
- Programs for executives
- Faith-based or religious programs
- Gender-specific treatment
- Luxury programs
- 12-step groups and 12-step alternatives
Louisiana Addiction Treatment Therapies
Evidence-based behavioral therapies that may be offered in Louisiana treatment programs include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Dialectical behavior therapy
- Motivational interviewing
These therapies may be offered in an individual, group or family setting. They are also frequently used in dual-diagnosis treatment programs and for those who require trauma-informed care.
Medication-assisted treatment may be recommended for certain individuals who are working to recover from opioid or alcohol addiction. Medication-assisted treatment in Louisiana combines medications with behavioral therapies and counseling, an approach that has been shown to increase the medication’s effectiveness.
Methadone and buprenorphine-based medications such as Suboxone are used in this way as maintenance medications. These medications help an individual to maintain abstinence while preventing withdrawal. Disulfiram (Antabuse) and acamprosate (Campral) are available to help maintain recovery from an alcohol use disorder.
Alternative Therapies Used In Addiction Treatment
Complementary addiction treatment therapies that may be offered as part of holistic treatment plans in Louisiana include:
- Art or music therapy
- Adventure or wilderness therapies
- Biofeedback or neurofeedback
- Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing
- Equine therapy
- Mindfulness and stress management practices
- Pet therapy
Paying For Addiction Treatment In Louisiana With Health Insurance
Individual and family health insurance plans may offer benefits that cover the cost of treatment, either in full or in part.
Health insurance providers that may offer coverage for Louisiana drug rehab include:
- Aetna Better Health of Louisiana
- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana
- Coventry Health Care of Louisiana
Coverage may include services for detoxification, inpatient and outpatient care. Copays, out-of-pocket expenses, and deductibles vary between providers.
Additional Ways To Pay For Drug Rehab In Louisiana
Some drug and alcohol rehab centers in Louisiana offer to finance for addiction treatment, while others may offer or accept scholarships and grants. Some individuals are also able to supplement their treatment needs through the financial assistance of close friends or family members.
While comprehensive treatment is an investment, the cost is far less than the price paid for a lifetime of addiction.
Traveling For Addiction Treatment
When a person seeks treatment for a drug or alcohol addiction, they often look for treatment centers that are close to home. However, the program with the right combination of high-quality therapies to meet their unique needs might not be in their home state.
The benefits of being willing to travel to seek addiction treatment include:
- More high-quality treatment programs than are available locally
- Improved focus on treatment and removal from environmental triggers
- Increased confidentiality
Addiction Campuses offers effective, compassionate treatment in several states across the country, and we can help people find the care they need—wherever they are.Article Sources
Louisiana Department of Health - http://ldh.la.gov/index.cfm/subhome/54
National Institute on Drug Abuse - https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/opioids/opioid-summaries-by-state/louisiana-opioid-summary
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration - https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/2015_Louisiana_BHBarometer.pdf