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Fully funded help available to qualifying opioid addicted local residents

LAPLACE — As opioid misuse and mortality rates climb statewide, Choices of Louisiana, Inc. wants St. John the Baptist Parish residents to know grant funding is available to combat addiction with outpatient treatment.

More than 400 Louisianans died of opioid overdose in 2017, signaling a 20 percent increase in a one-year period, according to the Louisiana Department of Health.

That statistic contributed to a two-year, $23.1 million grant awarded to the Office of Behavioral Health’s Louisiana State Opioid Response Project.

With offices serving LaPlace, Hammond, Alexandria and surrounding regions, Choices of Louisiana believes in combining medicine-based treatment with support services to build stronger communities.

LaPlace clinical coordinator Carlotta Spruille, MS, LAC, CCGC said the grant fully covers the cost of treatment for qualifying patients who are Medicaid approved or Medicaid eligible.

“It’s an epidemic,” Spruille said. “We have people suffering everyday from it, and a lot of people really don’t know where to go. We want to let them know that we are available and we are open to serve their needs.”

Patients suffering from addiction to oxycontin, pain pills or heroin must present physical symptoms of mild withdrawal from narcotics and one year documented physical dependency to narcotics.

A limited number of spots are available, according to Spruille, and transportation may be offered.

Choices of Louisiana offers trained physicians, nurses, pharmacists, licensed addiction counselors, certified clinical supervisors, professional case managers and support staff to assist patients in all areas.

“If they come to us, we can meet their needs,” Spruille said.

“We can also refer out for other services, whether it is for mental health, medical services or jobs.”

Medically proven Methadone treatment helps relieve withdrawal symptoms and opioid cravings, allowing for normal functioning, Spruille said.

According to a Choices of Louisiana release, combatting opioid addiction benefits the surrounding community through decreased illegal activity, decreased mortality and increased employment.

Office locations are not widely advertised in order to keep treatment confidential.

Free consultations are available by phone appointment.

For more information, call the LaPlace office at 985-651-3777 or visit choicesla.com.

Hours of operation are from 5 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Monday through Friday, and new patients are accepted from 5 to 8 a.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.

(Editor’s note: This story has been updated since originally publishing to provide the correct contact phone number. L’OBSERVATEUR regrets the error.)