CoronavirusFocus at NoonFocus On CommunityLafayetteLouisiana

Opioid Treatment Program to Use Technology-Driven Methods Due to COVID-19

Every evening, hundreds of patients throughout the state of Louisiana suffering from Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) gather together to engage in a powerful therapeutic activity called “Group Therapy.” This treatment has proven to be one of the most effective tools in treating addiction. The dynamic of Group Therapy is one that relies heavily on face-to-face dialogue and group sharing. Additionally, it is where addiction patients develop tools to maintain sobriety and, even more importantly, deal with crisis.

As of March 16, 2020, President Donald Trump and Governor John Bel Edwards announced new mandates that restrict the size of gatherings, which negatively impacts addiction treatment programs throughout Louisiana and, consequently, patients. The team at Lake Wellness Center understood this change would leave their vulnerable patients without anywhere to turn, struggling with a crisis during a crisis.

“Due to these restrictions, our team had to quickly think outside the box because relapse is not an option for our patients,” stated Roy Viger, Chief Executive Officer of Lake Wellness Center. “Therefore, we came up with a solution and pivoted our attention to care through virtual environments, such as a telehealth platform.”

Lake Wellness Center, an outpatient addiction treatment center with eight locations throughout south Louisiana, is the first Louisiana provider to deliver addiction treatment programs to existing and new patients struggling with opioid addiction solely through the use of video technology.

“This is a solution that had to be implemented immediately due to the impact of COVID-19. As this global virus continues to spread, we want to ensure that we are doing all we can to keep our patients and staff safe, and still provide patients with the necessary treatment to maintain sobriety.”

Telehealth platforms enable physicians, counselors, and patients to communicate online while still maintaining HIPAA compliance through secure video conferencing.

“While we may not know how long this virus will impact our communities, we want patients to know we are here to help them. We believe that, by working together, this method of communication will allow us to continue to provide safe and effective treatment to patients in need, particularly those with opioid addiction.”

For more information about Lake Wellness Center, or if you or someone know would like to seek addiction treatment, visit www.lakewellnesscenter.com or call (888) 488-5253.