New Orleans Outpatient Addiction Treatment

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    The struggle to overcome substance abuse is always a difficult one and no one should go through it alone. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health estimates that more than 20 million American adults and adolescents suffer from substance abuse disorders. Whether you find yourself among those battling addiction and are ready to enlist some help in moving forward or you’re looking for information on how you can help a loved one who is abusing drugs or alcohol, know that you are not alone.

    Professional help is available no matter where you are on the path toward recovery. Even conducting a quick Internet search for “rehab centers near me” is an important first step toward finding support.

    The experts at Lake Wellness Center in New Orleans can help.

    Recovering from drug or alcohol addictions can be uniquely challenging for New Orleans residents. While the city is known for its food, music and culture, it is also known for its many bars and clubs. The lax attitude toward alcohol and drug use that comes along with this less-savory aspect of New Orleans culture means it can be difficult to get away from substances. This makes it hard to stay clean and sober.

    The first step toward getting sober and staying that way is to seek out resources at the Lake Wellness Center’s New Orleans facility. We’ll lay out some of the basics of what you can expect as you explore the New Orleans facility and embark on a journey toward ongoing sobriety.

    Differences Between Inpatient and Outpatient Care

    There are many differences between inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment centers. The most obvious is that inpatient programs require participants to stay on-site for the duration of their treatment. Most inpatient programs require 90 days to complete, which can be impractical for those who need to keep up with work, school or family responsibilities while they seek treatment.

    Inpatient programs offer round-the-clock medical treatment and supervision for the duration of their clients’ stays. This can be extremely helpful and even medically necessary for some program participants, but others find that they don’t like the isolation of inpatient programs.

    Intensive outpatient programs, sometimes referred to as IOPs, offer many of the same services as inpatient residential addiction centers, but allow participants to head home to their families when their treatment has been completed. Outpatient treatment can be scheduled around participants’ work and family responsibilities, making it easier for those who do not need round-the-clock care to find a program that suits their unique needs and time constraints.

    The First Step in Drug or Alcoholism Treatment Program

    The first step toward recovery is to schedule a drug and alcohol assessment. Although many addicts are uneasy with the idea of sharing information about their lives and their substance use with strangers, this assessment is essential. It gives treatment coordinators a chance to assess the severity of their clients’ substance abuse problems and discuss their unique addiction-treatment goals with them so that they can determine the right course of action.

    Clients should always be 100 percent honest with their treatment coordinators. These addiction specialists are trained to understand the substance abuse disorder for what it is: a medical problem. They understand that what may sound to some like personal problems are really symptoms of a serious brain disease that can, with adequate time, commitment and assistance, be managed successfully.

    What to Expect at the New Orleans Rehabilitation Center Assessment

    Drug and alcohol assessments begin with a simple screening intended to determine whether the client has a true, diagnosable substance abuse disorder. Tools used during this screening often include questionnaires such as the CAGE questionnaire, the alcohol use inventory (AUI), the substance abuse subtle screening inventory (SASSI), or another type of self-reported questionnaire.

    If the client is found to have a substance abuse disorder, he or she will then go through a drug and alcohol evaluation. This more thorough stage of the assessment will usually involve an in-depth, semi-structured interview with a trained addiction specialist.

    There are two main tools used to facilitate these interviews. The diagnostic interview schedule-IV (DIS-IV) is a structured questionnaire used to elicit basic information about the extent of a client’s substance abuse. The addiction severity index (ASI), another common diagnostic tool, may also be used to guide the interview. The ASI assesses seven areas that may be directly or indirectly affected by a client’s substance abuse problem: medical status, employment status, drug use, alcohol use, social status, legal status, and psychiatric status.

    It is not uncommon for these interviews to be administered by multiple staff members. Some clients may also be asked for permission to interview friends or family members who may have additional insight into their substance use. Either way, the assessment will end with a recommendation as to how to begin treatment. Some of the treatment options available at Lake Wellness Center’s New Orleans facility will be discussed in detail below.

    Medically Supervised Withdrawal Services

    Those struggling with severe alcohol abuse, opiate addictions, or addictions to certain types of sedatives often need medical supervision when going through withdrawal; the side effects of detoxing from these substances can be very dangerous. Medical detox is often associated with inpatient, residential treatment but in reality, it can often be administered as part of an intensive outpatient program as well.

    Deciding whether to enroll a client in a medical detox program will be determined during his or her initial assessment. Most clients will have to stop using drugs or alcohol the night before they begin medical detox. When they arrive at the facility, they will be given medications that help to relieve their withdrawal symptoms and ensure their safety.

    Clients should expect to spend at least four to eight hours at the facility when they begin medical detox. Over the course of this visit they will meet with nurses, psychiatrists and other professionals who will ensure that they receive the appropriate medications in the right amount. At the end of the day, they will be provided with a prescription or a small amount of medication to take home and will be asked to return the next day.


    The length of time required for medical detox depends on what kind of substances the patient has been using, how long he or she has been using them, and the extent of his or her addiction. Once the client is no longer at risk of seizures or other serious physical problems, it may be possible to begin tapering off the medication. This process should never be rushed, though. The purpose of medical detox is to ensure clients’ safety and improve their comfort so they should expect to play a role in determining how long they will need these services.

    Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOPs)

    Whether clients require medical detox or not, their treatment plans will just about always involve participation in an intensive outpatient program. IOPs will be tailored to meet the unique needs of each client so there is no way to accurately predict how long they will need to participate in these programs or how much time they will spend at the facility. There are, however, some activities that just about all IOP participants can expect to be included in their treatment plans.

    Attending both individual and group therapy will be required. These therapy sessions can be scheduled around participants’ other responsibilities, but they constitute one of the core features of all successful alcohol and drug treatment programs. The frequency with which clients attend personal and group therapy sessions will depend on his or her unique needs and will be determined with the help of a treatment coordinator.

    Lake Wellness Center also offers substance abuse education to all clients. Developing an understanding of the symptoms associated of substance abuse disorder and how it affects the brain can be helpful when it comes to maintaining ongoing sobriety. After all, addiction is a chronic disease.

    Those who are sincere about getting clean and sober will need to learn how to appropriately manage this disease so that it no longer affects their lives. It may not be possible to cure addiction, but it is possible to learn how to live a satisfying, substance-free life.

    Other groups services offered at the New Orleans outpatient treatment center include cognitive testing and weekly family nights. Although family involvement is not a requirement for outpatient care, it can be very helpful for those who have the support of their families to enlist their help throughout their recoveries. One of the primary benefits of intensive outpatient programs over inpatient care is that they allow participants to take advantage of their social support networks instead of being treated in isolation from their families and communities.

    Ongoing Medical Clinic Follow-Up Care

    Whether you decide to pursue an IOP at Lake Wellness Center’s New Orleans facility or decide on a 90-day inpatient program at another location, ongoing follow-up care will almost always be recommended upon completion of their intensive rehabilitation programs. Follow-up care plans will also be tailored to the needs of each individual client.

    Some will continue to attend group or individual therapy sessions weekly, while others may eventually find that they can scale their treatment back to once a month or less. Ongoing evaluations are used to determine what kinds of ongoing care will be required for clients to maintain their sobriety once they’ve returned to their normal lives.

    It is not unusual for those who struggle with drug or alcohol addictions to experience cravings or other symptoms for years after they stop using substances. Those who live in areas where drug or alcohol use is common often face even more challenges because the sight of other people using or even the knowledge that these substances are available can act as a trigger

    Those who are serious about maintaining a sober lifestyle need to be committed to using every tool at their disposal to fight off their cravings. Even one slip-up can significantly set them back in their treatment. Even if they’re feeling confident, they should always follow the recommendations of their treatment coordinators when it comes to ongoing follow-up appointments and care.

    Individual Addiction Treatment Center Therapy

    Now that you have an idea about what to expect during each phase of the rehabilitation process, let’s discuss some of the services available. Experts agree that individual therapy plays an essential role in addiction treatment. Those who have never attended therapy sessions often feel anxious about baring their souls to strangers, so it can be helpful to know what these sessions may entail.

    Individual therapy sessions almost always last for at least 45 minutes and take place at least once per week for the first three months, although some clients will need longer or more frequent sessions. The duration and frequency of individual therapy sessions will be determined during the client’s intake appointment and the established treatment plan will be reviewed periodically to ensure that it is meeting his or her needs.

    Research into drug and alcohol addiction treatment has shown that three months is the minimum amount of time required for one-on-one therapy to be effective. Many clients will also likely benefit from ongoing individual therapy sessions after their intensive outpatient programs have been completed.

    Staff Members

    There are many different approaches to addiction therapy, but cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most common approach to treating substance abuse disorder. This form of counseling involves helping clients learn how to recognize ways their addictions have distorted their thinking patterns and changing them for the better. Therapists who use CBT can assess their clients motivations and suggest coping skills that will help them manage stress and avoid damaging behaviors without resorting to substance use.

    Group Counseling

    Group therapy offers recovering addicts access to a valuable peer support network. It doesn’t take the place of individual counseling sessions, but it can reinforce some of the lessons learned in individual therapy. It’s important for readers to realize that group sessions for addiction are not the same as support groups, although support groups can also play a valuable role in an individual’s recovery strategy.

    While support groups are usually peer-led, group counseling sessions are led by a professional counselor. These sessions tend to be longer than individual therapy appointments, typically lasting between 75 and 90 minutes, and can include up to 10 people or more. Most alcohol and drug treatment programs also involve more frequent group therapy sessions.

    Research into drug and alcohol addiction treatment has shown that three months is the minimum amount of time required for one-on-one therapy to be effective. Many clients will also likely benefit from ongoing individual therapy sessions after their intensive outpatient programs have been completed.


    The key to successful group therapy is the creation and maintenance of a positive, welcoming environment. Participants should feel open to express themselves freely, but should never feel obligated to divulge sensitive information if they don’t want to. Most people who participate in group therapy as part of their addiction treatments find that it is a relief to learn how to communicate openly and get support from their peers.

    The theory explaining group counseling is that since human beings are inherently social creatures, typically spend most or all of their lives operating within the context of small family or friend groups, positive social interactions can be of great benefit when it comes to addiction recovery. These sessions allow participants to learn new strategies for talking to and relating to others from a trained counselor and to implement these strategies in a safe environment.

    Substance Abuse Education

    Part of learning how to recognize the negative thought and behavioral patterns is learning about substance abuse, more generally, and how it impacts the human mind. Since getting sober, to begin with, is only the start of the recovery process, clients at addiction-treatment facilities should expect their education about relapse prevention and chronic disease management to be ongoing.

    Although recovering addicts should always feel welcome and encouraged to take advantage of available resources like group counseling and peer support groups for as long as they’re needed to support ongoing sobriety, they should also learn the skills to cope with acute cravings and potential triggers before leaving intensive treatment. Participants will learn how to identify situations that might place them at high risk of relapse and how to avoid or manage them. Before finishing their IOPs, recovering addicts should also have a long-term aftercare plan in place that includes solutions for dealing with stress at home as well as arrangements for ongoing support services.

    Differences Between Drug and Alcohol Programs

    So far this article has treated alcohol addiction as one subset of substance abuse disorder, which technically it is. The fact that alcohol is legal, easily available and widely used by the general public means that those who abuse this substance face some unique challenges, though.

    The first difference between alcohol and drug treatment most program participants are likely to notice is how they are treated during medical detox. Even though alcohol is one of the few mind-altering substances that remains legal in Louisiana, it is also one of the most dangerous substances to withdraw from without adequate medical supervision.

    Delirium tremens, sometimes referred to as “DTs,” is a common symptom of alcohol withdrawal that is absent during withdrawal from most other substances. Not all alcoholics who have performed a search for “alcohol rehab near me” will be physically dependent enough on alcohol to wind up experiencing DTs. Those who do often experience hallucinations, convulsions, general confusion, and in serious cases seizures that can lead to death. There are medications that can be prescribed to those recovering from alcohol dependencies that can ameliorate these severe withdrawal symptoms.

    The medical detox process used in cases of drug addiction may be quite different. Some clients will be offered substitutes that can help them recover from their chemical dependencies. For example, methadone can be used as a non-addictive substitute for heroin or prescription painkillers. This is slightly different from the drugs used to facilitate recovery from alcohol abuse, which tend to be prescribed only for a short period of time and reduce withdrawal symptoms without substituting one substance for another.

    As with alcohol addiction, drug addiction can’t be treated with medication alone. In both cases, medical detox is only the first step on a long road toward recovery.

    Contact Experts at Lake Wellness Center New Orleans Today

    Whether readers come to this site by searching for “drug rehab centers near me” or they’re looking for professional help recovering from alcohol abuse, even looking into options is an indication that the time may be right to begin treatment. The first, and often the hardest, step is to admit to having a problem. Now that you know what to expect, it should be easier to begin taking steps toward solving the problem.

    The next step is to schedule an appointment for a drug and alcohol assessment. This can be done online by filling out a treatment consultation request or it can be done via phone by calling (888) 488-5253 to speak with a Lake Wellness Center professional who can help you begin the recovery process.

    Contact Us

    Family members who want more information about how they can help their loved ones recover from drug or alcohol addictions are also welcome to get in contact any time. It is important to realize that those struggling with addiction need to seek help on their own terms, though, and to encourage them to enter into a program without passing judgment or forcing their hands. Recovery is a difficult process but with adequate help, support, and commitment, anyone can overcome addiction.

    New Orleans residents can attend an intensive outpatient program at the Lake Wellness Center’s IOP facility, or they can enroll in an inpatient program then transfer over to ongoing outpatient services. Those living in other parts of southern Louisiana may want to explore Lake Wellness Center’s other facilities in Baton Rouge, Covington, Houma, Lafayette, Lake Charles or Metairie for local help.

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    Has addiction stolen your loved one? Take action and call (888) 488-5253 or fill out this form to speak with a Treatment Consultant about options for help.

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