Louisiana Alcohol and Drug Use Statistics
Substance use has taken an immense toll on our society, and Louisiana is no exception to its consequences. According to the Louisiana Department of Health, the state has seen a steep increase in the number of opioid-related deaths each year, ranging from 160 in 2012 to 588 in 2019.1 The main substances behind these deaths are heroin, semi-synthetic opioids, and fentanyl.1
What’s more, the number of young adults in the state ranging from 18 to 25 developing substance use disorders increased from 6.2% in 2017 to 6.9% in 2019.2 This would include alcohol, as binge drinking among this same age group rose from 35.2% to 37.1% during the same years.2
Today, 8.3% of Louisiana’s population has a substance use disorder which is higher than the national average of 7.4%.2 It seems the more youths and young adults that become involved with substance use each year, the higher the rates of substance use disorder development and overdose-related deaths in the state.
Cost of Drug Rehab in Louisiana
The cost of rehab in Louisiana will vary based on a variety of factors, including the type of facilities available and the type of program you need. The best way to estimate potential costs is to consider the following:
- The type of treatment program you need, i.e., inpatient care, outpatient care, etc.
- The duration of treatment, which could last 30, 60, or even 90 days
- The location of your intended facility
- The type of facility, such as luxury-style accommodations vs basic amenities
- Whether you have insurance
- Whether you’re eligible for special financing or government funding
The last thing you should worry about is not being able to afford alcohol or drug rehab in Louisiana. While there are some indefinite costs, such as room and board, there are plenty of options out there to suit all income levels.
For instance, having insurance can help offset a significant portion of your rehab costs. You’ll just want to make sure your provider considers the facility you choose “in-network.” Of course, if you don’t have insurance coverage and aren’t able to pay the full price out of pocket, you would need to look for state-funding programs. State-funded facilities sometimes offer free treatment for those who meet the criteria. They also offer special financing and scholarships based on individuals’ financial situations.
Where Can I Find Low-Cost and Free Rehabs in Louisiana?
Low-cost and free rehabs fall under the state-funded category mentioned above. These rehab facilities receive their funding from both the federal and state government. They also receive support from local governments (think: town and county) who receive the funding from insurance programs like Medicaid, special grants, and so on.
Free and low-cost rehabs function just like any other type of rehab facility. For instance, they usually offer medically assisted detoxing, outpatient care if rooms aren’t available, transitional and recovery housing, peer support group meetings, mental health care, and even telehealth options.
To receive free or low-cost drug and alcohol rehab in Louisiana, you’ll need to meet specific criteria. This would include the following:
- You must be a U.S. citizen.
- You must have proof of low income.
- You must prove that you don’t have health insurance coverage.
- You must be a tax-paying resident in the state of Louisiana.
Does Insurance Cover Alcohol and Drug Rehab in Louisiana?
Under the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) of 2008, all states, including Louisiana, require that healthcare providers automatically offer palms that include mental health and substance use disorder benefits.3
Therefore, if you have health insurance, you have some level of coverage for alcohol or drug rehab in Louisiana.
Medicaid is both a federal and state-funded program that offers healthcare coverage to low-income families. When it comes to substance use treatment, Medicaid will cover the basics. The basics include:
- Initial screenings
- Intervention assistance
- Inpatient and outpatient care
- Medically assisted detox
- Addiction treatment medications
- Mental health services
Keep in mind that not all Louisiana drug and alcohol rehabs accept Medicaid as a form of payment. Therefore, you’ll need to verify with each facility before making any treatment arrangements.
Medicare is a federally funded health insurance program created for seniors 65 and older and individuals with disabilities. Unlike Medicaid, however, Medicare comes with monthly premiums that are based on your income. Essentially, individuals with lower incomes pay lower premiums.
As for rehab coverage, Medicare is split into four categories referred to as Parts A through D. Each part provides specific treatment benefits. For instance, Part A provides coverage for up to 60 days of inpatient treatment, whereas Part B provides coverage for up to 80% of outpatient care. This includes dual diagnosis disorders.
Private insurance plans under the MHPAEA must provide some extent of coverage for substance use disorder treatment as well as mental health disorders. Some of the top insurance providers that offer coverage for rehab include Humana, Aetna, United Healthcare, Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS), COBRA, and Cigna.
Of course, the extent of your treatment coverage will depend entirely on your insurance plan and provider. Therefore, you’ll need to verify what’s covered and what you’ll have to pay out of pocket with your insurance provider. You’ll also need to verify which facilities are considered in-network to ensure coverage before making treatment arrangements.
Popular Alcohol and Drug Rehab Centers in Louisiana
There are a lot of drug and alcohol rehabs in Louisiana to choose from, which can get overwhelming. To help you get started on your search, we’ve put together a short list of some of the best care facilities in the state:
The Acadiana Addiction Center in Sunset
The Acadiana Addiction Center is a 30–90-day residential treatment facility. It’s CARF accredited, a NAATP member, affiliated with the Addictive Disorder Regulatory Authority, and comes highly rated.
This facility is centered on holistic therapy methods for the mind, body, and spiritual healing in addition to other evidence-based treatments. The facility not only offers inpatient care for adults, but various types of outpatient care, mental health treatment for teens, and continuing care.
Rayville Recovery in Rayville
Rayville Recovery is a residential treatment facility that offers a 12-step based treatment approach that’s customized for everyone. The facility is CARF accredited and offers several treatment plans, including individual therapy, group therapy, medication management, holistic therapies, and medically assisted detox programs.
Whispering Oaks Lodge in Youngsville
Whispering Oaks Lodge is a residential treatment center partnered with the Louisiana Department of Health. The facility is more secluded and offers several behavioral therapy methods, from individual and group counseling to equine and canine-assisted therapy. They also offer spiritual counseling, and they’re equipped to treat individuals with a dual diagnosis in both their inpatient and outpatient programs.
Woodlake Addiction Recovery Center in Ethel
The Woodlake Addiction Recovery Center is situated on a quiet lake and follows an evidence-based 12-step program that utilizes honesty, love, unselfishness, and purity as its coping tools. The facility also offers a medically assisted and supervised detox program for those who need it.
Inpatient vs. Outpatient Drug Rehab in Louisiana
When searching for drug rehabs near me or alcohol rehabs near me, it’s important to keep in mind that you have two types of treatment options: Inpatient and outpatient.
Inpatient rehab refers to residential care, where you’ll be admitted to a facility and live there throughout the length of your treatment program. These programs range from 30 days to 90 days, depending on the severity of your substance use disorder and needs. Since you’ll be living at the facility, you’ll be provided with a room and a bed (possibly a roommate), meals, and other amenities, depending on the type of facility.
Outpatient rehabs refer to treatment programs that don’t require you to live within the confines of the rehab facility. You must, however, show up for the required amount of treatment and therapy hours dictated by the healthcare team on your case. There are also three different types of outpatient programs, including partial hospitalization programs (PHPs), intensive outpatient programs (IOPs), and standard outpatient programs. Each will vary in its intensity regarding treatment hours and typically require you to attend peer support group meetings outside of your usual therapy.
Each type of rehab program comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. However, those advantages and disadvantages really depend on your specific situation.
Advantages of Inpatient Addiction Treatment
Arguably, the greatest advantage of inpatient addiction treatment is getting to take a break from all the stress in your life and focus solely on recovery and healing. Other advantages include the following:
- You get to live on-site with certain amenities, including meals.
- You’ll receive round-the-clock care (including a medically assisted detox).
- There’s a higher level of supervision to ensure the safety and well-being of all patients.
- If needed, you’ll receive support with basic functioning, such as taking medication, personal hygiene, etc.
- It’s a more stable environment for those with co-occurring mental health disorders.
Disadvantages of Inpatient Care
The disadvantages of inpatient care include the following:
- Most inpatient treatment programs are more expensive and are typically only partially covered by insurance.
- Inpatient programs can last anywhere from 30 to 90 days. This means time away from work, school, or family, which can be difficult for some.
- Transitioning back to “normal” life is often a struggle as it involves coping with life’s everyday stressors again, which can be triggering.
- Families and friends don’t always understand how to offer support once individuals finish their inpatient care and return home.
Advantages of Outpatient Addiction Treatment
For those new to the world of drug and alcohol rehab in Louisiana, the concept of outpatient treatment may seem strange. However, it has its advantages, which include the following:
- It’s often more affordable than inpatient treatment.
- It allows individuals to work around their own schedules and continue with their work, education, or family care.
- It offers multiple levels of care, depending on the individual’s needs.
- Transitioning back to normal life is less than a challenge since individuals don’t have to leave.
Disadvantages of Outpatient Rehab
Outpatient care isn’t suitable for every situation as it does come with a few disadvantages. This would include:
- A lack of medical detox programs
- Individuals still must deal with their everyday stressors since they’ll remain at home.
- There’s less supervision since individuals are only required to attend meetings and therapy for a certain amount of time before returning home for the day.
- It requires a lot more family support and involvement.
Types of Drug and Alcohol Rehabs in Louisiana
No two Louisiana drug and alcohol rehabs operate the same. While many follow evidence-based methods, each has its own treatment philosophy and amenities, and many cater to specific groups.
Here’s a brief look at the various types of Louisiana alcohol and drug rehabs:
Faith-Based and Christian Rehab
The basis for Christian and other faith-based rehabs is the acknowledgment that the individual isn’t just suffering physically but spiritually and emotionally as well. These types of rehabs encourage their patients to form a connection with a higher power during their recovery. This connection is meant to give them something to rely on when recovery becomes challenging.
Therefore, Christian and faith-based rehabs offer specialized treatment that focuses primarily on spiritual healing.
Luxury rehab centers are vastly different from the traditional institutional or hospital-like settings of most programs. Luxury facilities often embrace a holistic approach to recovery, with an emphasis on comfort, relaxation, and privacy. They also emphasized customized treatment plans that cater to the individual’s situation and needs.
This means counselor-to-patient ratios are typically lower. Because of the emphasis on privacy and comfort, luxury rehabs are also typically set in the more picturesque settings such as lakeside, on the beach, or in the mountains.
Executive rehabs are typically ideal for business professionals as they are tailored for the specific treatment of high-level and busy professionals who require more flexibility, privacy, and additional resources that are conducive to a working environment. Therefore, these types of rehabs offer amenities such as private conference rooms, access to computers and Wi-Fi, travel support for work trips, private rooms, and most importantly, discretion.
Holistic rehab programs are centered on healing the mind, body, and spirit in addition to substance use recovery. Many of these programs don’t incorporate traditional methods like psychotherapy or the 12 steps. However, they do typically offer medically assisted detoxes and a range of other therapies, including meditation and yoga.
Holistic rehabs follow the philosophy that substance use largely stems from feelings of spiritual emphasis when there are no other physical or mental ailments such as injury or mental health disorders. Therefore, the goal is to get individuals on the right path via organic diets, wellness activities, complementary therapies such as acupuncture, creative therapies, and so on.
Dual Diagnosis Rehab
Dual diagnosis refers to co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders. Often, individuals use substances to cope with underlying mental health disorders, which only exasperates the issue. That’s why dual diagnosis rehab focuses on appropriately diagnosing an individual’s mental health condition first so they can get to the root of the substance use issues and treat them properly.
Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is a form of substance use treatment that’s meant to support recovery and prevent cravings and subsequent overdoses. MAT uses FDA-approved medications in conjunction with behavioral therapy and counseling to provide a “whole-patient” approach.4
Research shows that MAT treatment programs have clinically proven success in treating substance use disorders involving alcohol, heroin, and other opioids and sustaining recovery.4 This is because the medications used work to balance brain chemistry, block the euphoric effects of substances, and relieve the psychological cravings to bring the body back to a normally functioning state.4
How to Get Methadone at a Methadone Clinic
Methadone is an FDA-approved synthetic analgesic like morphine that’s used to help treat substance use dependencies involving heroin and other opioids and opiates.5 It acts on the brain’s opioid receptors, minimizing pain and withdrawal symptoms, and stays active in the body for up to 36 hours.5
Since methadone is a highly regulated substance, there are specific guidelines for methadone treatment programs to administer it. This means individuals must meet certain criteria to receive admission into a methadone clinic. They’ll have to undergo a physical exam and provide blood and urine samples. They’ll also have to provide their history of substance use and any known mental health conditions. Some programs even have an age requirement.
A physician will also gauge a person’s level of substance dependency based on several factors to assess their needs for methadone. Those factors include withdrawal symptoms, overdose risk, failed attempts to stop using, and even what friends or families have to say about the individual’s substance use disorder.
Depending on the severity of the substance use disorder and location, individuals may be admitted immediately or put on a waitlist.
Finding Suboxone Doctors
Suboxone (buprenorphine/naloxone) is a prescription opioid medicine that also works to block the effects of opioids, including pain relief. It can be prescribed alone or with other medications, and it’s most often prescribed for substance use disorders that involve short-acting opioids. This would include heroin and prescription painkillers.
Suboxone is highly regulated, making it nearly impossible to get without a doctor’s approval and prescription. This can also make suboxone clinics and doctors difficult to reach, especially since providers prescribing the medication must have special training and be registered with the DEA.
Your first step in finding a suboxone doctor would be to check with your primary care doctor to see if they can prescribe it, are willing to get the waiver required to prescribe it, or refer you to another doctor or clinic. Another option is to investigate the methadone clinics in your area to see if they offer suboxone, or you can check the SAMHSA’s Physician Locator6 to find the right doctors.
Naltrexone for Alcohol or Opioid Addiction
Naltrexone is an MAT option used to treat alcohol or opioid addiction and can be prescribed and administered by virtually any doctor.7 It comes in pill form or as an injectable; however, the injectables require a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) to ensure that the benefits of the medication outweigh the risks.
Naltrexone works to block the sedative and euphoric effects of opioids and alcohol by binding with and blocking the brain’s receptors to reduce cravings. The medication is non-addictive and is not an opioid or an opiate. Therefore, it’s not considered to have overuse potential, nor will it cause withdrawal symptoms when its use ends.
Naltrexone is often prescribed as part of a comprehensive treatment plan that typically includes an entire rehab program.
Antabuse (Disulfiram) for Alcohol Addiction
Antabuse was one of the first medications prescribed for alcohol use disorder. It works by blocking the enzymes the body uses to process alcohol and can cause some nasty side effects if alcohol is consumed after it has been taken. This would include chest pain, nausea, dizziness, elevated heartbeat, thirst, and flushing.
This medication is only prescribed for individuals with chronic alcoholism and cannot be taken if an individual has consumed alcohol within the past 12 hours. It also cannot be taken if you’ve taken cough medicine or have eaten any food or desserts with alcohol—including vinegar.
Antabuse is not a cure for alcohol use disorder as it’s only meant to dissuade individuals from drinking with its unpleasant side effects. Therefore, it should be used in conjunction with a rehab treatment program for a positive outcome.
Acamprosate for Alcohol Use Disorder
Acamprosate is another prescription medication used to help curb alcoholism. It comes in pill form and is typically taken up to three times per day with food. The medication works to restore the natural balance of the neurotransmitters in the brain to reduce cravings helping individuals to abstain from alcohol use.
It should be noted that acamprosate does not alleviate withdrawal symptoms, and it is not a cure for alcoholism. Therefore, it’s typically only prescribed for individuals seeking treatment.
Should I Travel to Louisiana for Alcohol and Drug Treatment?
If you’re wondering whether you should travel to attend one of the various Louisiana drug and alcohol rehabs, you’ll have to first think about what your needs are. Sometimes getting far away from the environment that made you sick is the best medicine. In other cases, traveling for treatment to be closer to friends and family makes things easier.
Whether you’re traveling to the Pelican State from afar to get peace or staying local for support, you’ll want to consider the actual landscape of where you’ll be and what that means to you.
Regional Considerations in Louisiana
Louisiana is divided into five general regions: Greater New Orleans, Plantation Country, Cajun Country, and Sportsman’s Paradise. Of course, if you base the state’s regions on its “folk culture,” then you’re looking at New Orleans, South Louisiana, and North Louisiana. It can also be divided into the Coastal Marsh, the Mississippi Flood Plain, the Red River Valley, the Terraces, and the Hills.
The state’s most populous cities include New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Shreveport, Metairie, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Bossier City, and Kenner.
Depending on whether you’d prefer secluded nature areas with mountains or coastal areas with ocean air and sand, you’ll want to choose based on the state’s regions.
Drug and Alcohol Laws in Louisiana
In response to the nationwide opioid epidemic, Louisiana has written several pieces of legislation into action to protect and support its residents. Here are some of the most recent laws to be aware of:
The Good Samaritan Law
Like most states now, Louisiana has enacted the Good Samaritan Law, which protects the victims of overdoses and bystanders from criminal charges. This, however, excludes possession of illicit substances with the intent to distribute during the time of the distress call.
The HR291 Treatment System Transformation Initiative
The state of Louisiana has recognized that individuals with opioid use disorder (OUD) are often unable to access MAT therapy as there are not enough community-based providers offering it. Therefore, HR291 is pushing the Department of Health to implement a plan to increase these offerings while urging Medicaid to pay for case management services in hospitals to help OUD patients transition from the emergency room into treatment programs.
The HR291 bill has been written in conjunction with Act 425, which requires that all licensed residential treatment facilities now offer at least two forms of MAT on-site.
Act 10 ensures that methadone is now covered by Louisiana’s Medicaid program, which did not previously cover this treatment. This left many residents without access to evidence-based care. In addition to Act 10, the HR257 bill urges the Department of Health to evaluate the costs associated with removing the prior authorization where clinicians had to first seek approval from insurers before administering MAT.
- Louisiana Opioid Surveillance Initiative. (2020). Louisiana Department of Health.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2019). Behavioral Health Barometer, Louisiana, Volume 6.
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2021, December 1). Mental Health and Substance Use Insurance Help.
- Chanell Baylor. SAMHSA (2021). Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT).
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2021, June 8). Methadone.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (n.d.). Buprenorphine Treatment Practitioner Locator.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administratino. (2020, September 15). Naltrexone.