The Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) Office of Behavioral Health (OBH) is expanding flexibility to accessible, LDH Business Planevidence-based opioid treatment services in Louisiana with 24/7 services in the Northwest and Northshore regions of Louisiana.
 
Services are now available at Behavioral Health Group (BHG) – CBH Shreveport, 1303 Line Ave., Suite 600, by calling 844-535-7291. Between 4 p.m. and 5 a.m., call 318-349-2451.
 
Services are expected to be available at BAART/BayMark Programs North Shore in Hammond in June.
 
These areas were selected because of their high rates of reported opioid prescriptions.
 
OBH is providing funding to increase workforce capacity at BHG to offer a 24-hour-a-day, 7-day-a-week treatment program. Funding comes from the federal government’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) through the Louisiana State Opioid Response (LaSOR) 2.0 Grant.
 
This expansion of services is part of the Fiscal Year 2022 LDH Business Plan's initiative to improve access to substance use disorder and the quality of care.
 
Outpatient treatment
 
BHG provides outpatient Medication for Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD), considered the gold standard for treating opioid use disorder (OUD). MOUD is an evidence-based care model that allows patients to receive necessary medication and counseling while continuing their daily lives. Almost all Opioid Treatment Programs (OTPs), which are the only treatment providers able to offer all three FDA-approved medications for OUD (buprenorphine, methadone and naltrexone), are only open during the daytime.
 
“Substance use may be rooted in a single individual, but its effects ripple out to children and family members, friends and co-workers. The road to recovery is different for everyone, and for some that may require unconventional hours to accommodate those with young children or who work on later shifts. We are proud to expand around-the-clock opioid treatment in Louisiana, meeting families where they are when they most need it,” said LDH Secretary Dr. Courtney N. Phillips.
 
“Like so many communities around the country, the Shreveport-Bossier area has been affected by the opioid epidemic. I’m pleased to see the Office of Behavioral Health’s effort to expand services in our community and provide quality, around-the-clock treatment for individuals suffering under the influence of opioids,” said State Rep. Thomas Pressly, R-Shreveport.
 
“The Office of Behavioral Health’s commitment to providing evidence-based treatment means more people are receiving access to evidence-based, lifesaving opioid treatment whenever they need it. If you or a loved one are suffering from an opioid problem, help is available,” said State Rep. Bill Wheat, R-Ponchatoula.
 
Louisiana is one of six states with above-average reported opioid prescriptions. According to federal data, only 1 in 20 Louisiana residents who needed treatment for substance use disorder received it in 2019, compared to 1 in 9 nationally.
 
Fatal overdoses involving opioids have steadily increased in Louisiana. According to the most recent data from the Louisiana Opioid Data and Surveillance System (LODSS), which collects data certified by coroners, opioid-involved deaths increased by 67%, from 588 in 2019 to 982 in 2020. From 2012 to 2020, opioid-involved deaths increased 514%.
 
“Treatment is effective and people do recover. These tenets are fundamental to helping individuals with opioid use disorder. Effective treatment requires at least three components: access to care, high-quality linkages between service settings and continuity of care. We are proud to bring 24/7 services to Shreveport, joining BHG’s Gretna facility as the first two of three such expanded-hours clinics,” said OBH Assistant Secretary Karen Stubbs.
 
Accessing services
 
Starting now, Louisianans in the northwestern region of the state who need help can call BHG at 844-535-7291. Between 4 p.m. and 5 a.m., call 318-349-2451. During the first call, a BHG team member will begin the intake process with the individual and assess if they meet criteria for the program. If the individual meets criteria, BHG will begin an immediate assessment to ensure there is no delay in receiving treatment.
 
“For those seeking help for the first time, the need for care often strikes at night,” said Natashia Cheatham, regional director of operations for BHG. “Waiting for the nearest treatment center to open can be a matter of life or death for people living with opioid use disorder (OUD). We are looking forward to working with the Caddo Parish community to provide the full spectrum of opioid treatment services.”
 
BHG is the largest network of Joint Commission-accredited outpatient opioid treatment and recovery centers in the U.S. For people seeking treatment, visit BHG’s resources here to learn more about the patient journey and getting started.