Seaside Healthcare offers continuum for substance abusers

Greg Fischer Editor-in-chief
One of 25 Cognitive Development Intensive Out-Patient (IOP) Centers, located at 201 Lessard Street in Donaldsonville.

The opioid and methamphetamine epidemic unfortunately spreads far beyond the state, but at least for Louisiana residents, Cognitive Development Centers IOP sites of Seaside Healthcare offer multiple levels of recovery options.

"The substance abuse epidemic has hit in the last four years," Psychiatric Director of EBR Parish Jail Dr. Robert Blanche said, "with unbelievable increase in opiate and methamphetamine addiction."

Should an individual at least 18 years of age require substance abuse detox or acute inpatient psychiatric care services, Seaside also offers inpatient medical detox and psychiatric care at their Baton Rouge Hospital located at 4363 Convention Street in Baton Rouge.

But Seaside is more like a continuum, as they describe it. Along with providing Home and Community Base services, Cognitive Development Centers also offer Intensive Out-Patient (IOP) substance abuse treatment at 9 of its 25 locations throughout the state of Louisiana. One of these locations is at 201 Lessard Street in Donaldsonville.

Alcohol addiction has seen a decline in terms of admissions they see at the acute inpatient level of care at Seaside, according to Blanche and Community Coordinator of HCBS Mark Broussard.

Once a patient undergoes an intensive detox period, relapse is much more likely to occur without further help. Consider if someone has been using for years, one week or even one month of help without anymore support could be fighting a losing battle.

Seaside seems to understand this well. Their family of programs offers help to all walks of life. All ages may seek help. The symptoms they treat are not strictly drug related. They also treat depression, anxiety, anger issues, unresolved grief, bi-polar, thought and mood disorders.

Many private insurance companies offer financial coverage at Seaside, and Medicaid recipients are covered as well.

The Cognitive Development Centers IOP sites provide treatment in three phases: 1. An initial assessment; 2. A 12-week course of intensive therapy and transitional therapy; and 3. A 24-week after care program.

Complete abstinence is difficult to achieve for those suffering from addiction. Dr. Blanche said that only about 10 percent of recovering heroin addicts are able to overcome their addiction this way.

Another issue has to do with prison inmates treated by Dr. Blanche, who said it is easier for a police officer to throw a mentally ill person in jail than to bring them to the emergency room. He said he currently handles nearly 40 psychotic inmates out of 1700 total.

But with the state's bridge program to release the mentally ill, Seaside has changed their program to accept those patients.

"Once they get into the legal system, they're stuck," Dr. Blanche said.

If you or someone you know is suffering from addiction and mental illness, and you need more information call 225-257-4677 for the Donaldsonville Cognitive Development Center IOP site of Seaside Healthcare or 225-778-0992 for the Baton Rouge center.