Drug and Alcohol Detox Clinics in Louisiana

Detox clinics in Louisiana are regulated by the state’s Department of Health and Hospitals. Learn more about state guidelines and health standards here.

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ARTICLE OVERVIEW: Louisiana detox clinics must follow state laws about how to operate. Learn how to find a safe and reputable detox center in Louisiana here.


What is Medical Detox?

When you stop taking drugs or alcohol, your body naturally goes through a withdrawal process. This is when both your brain and body return to their normal state, a state known as “homeostasis”. Though withdrawal symptoms vary depending on the person and the drug, most are very uncomfortable and difficult to go through.

Medical detox is a program which provides 24-7 supervision of these withdrawal symptoms. This supervision is extremely important as it allows medical professionals to address symptoms as they occur. Staff in detox clinics work with physicians to administer medicines, when necessary. They also identify high risk situations, like suicidal ideas of hallucinations.

The purpose of a medical detox is to make withdrawal less painful. You’re less likely to relapse with medical supervision. Plus, you can get off drugs or alcohol safely with medical help.

A detox clinic in Louisiana will provide you with the following services:

  1. Emotional support
  2. Observation
  3. Medicines when necessary

Should You Detox on Your Own?

Q: Are you able to detox on your own?

A: Some people may be given medical clearance to detox on their own. Most don’t. Unfortunately, there are a lot of dangers when it comes to detoxing on your own.

For example, someone who’s withdrawing from heroin is bound to have the symptoms of diarrhea and vomiting. [1] In turn, this causes the body to become dehydrated. If not addressed properly, dehydration can be fatal.

Under medical supervision, you can be assured you’ll receive the right treatment to keep your body and brain healthy while it goes through withdrawal. Detox is necessary to cleanse your body of all the chemicals stored at a cellular level. Furthermore, a reputable detox center will provide you with treatment that fits your needs. It will be a customized plan.

You should look at a medical detox as the beginning step towards sobriety. First, you’ll address the physical symptoms. Then, a stay in rehab can help you look at the mental symptoms associated with addiction.

Detoxing in Louisiana

The state of Louisiana has set up specific laws and regulations for detox clinics in order to make sure they run in a safe and proper manner. These laws can be found through a few different Louisiana Administrative Codes, or LACs. [2] We’ll look at these briefly here.

Under LAC Title 48 Part 1 Part 3 Chapter 74 § 7401, all facilities must have a registered license in order to legally operate in the state. [3] With this license comes a number of rules and procedures. For example, all facilities must renew licenses and maintain their status to hold a license. In order to check maintenance, the state has authority to come into a facility, without warning, and do a standardized check.

Additionally, LA detox clinics must be properly staffed and equipped. Each must have the appropriate number of nurses on staff and have a physician who serves as a medical director. Treatment plans need to be written, following standards of practice. This includes the “12 core functions of substance abuse counseling” and other current therapies.

Under another law, LAC Title 48 Subchapter B. Core Requirements for All Programs § 7417, all detox facilities in Louisiana must follow a long list of rules. [4] These include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Having a staff that meets the qualifications of the facility’s service.
  • Holding all patients’ administrative records on file.
  • Holding an insurance amount of at least $500,000.

Most detox clinics follow these rules, as they can face extreme consequences if they don’t. Still, you may find yourself in a facility where a specific rule under these laws is broken. In these cases, you can submit a complaint to the Attorney General. How? Send a message through the Louisiana’s Attorney General’s website’s contact page.

How Does Detox in Louisiana Work?

Detox within Louisiana works just as it does in other states. When you enter a LA detox clinic, the initial goal of the staff is to set you up with a long-term plan. The idea is to lay out your treatment in order for you to get a sense of what you’re about to undergo.

In order to do this properly, the facility must give you a medical assessment. In Louisiana, the process must include:

  • An interview to summarize your medical history.
  • A nursing assessment and screening.
  • A physical examination within 72 hours when one is indicated.
  • A psycho-social evaluation.
  • Laboratory examinations as required.

The staff will collect this data through self-reports, interviews, and face-to-face assessments. Sometimes, you’ll be asked to submit a urine sample for drug screening, but not always.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Remember, this is YOUR treatment and it should be in the staff’s best interest to keep you as informed as possible. If you’re a bit nervous about certain steps of detox or after, you’re not alone. Many people fear withdrawal and it’s a big reason why some don’t quit drugs or alcohol. [5]

Keep your head high, ask questions, and understand that staff are doing all they can to help you.

Remember: everyone experiences withdrawal at a different level. It’s extremely difficult for you to predict what can happen, even if you’ve already been though withdrawal before. To get through withdrawal safely, it’s necessary to go through a medical detox.

Inpatient Louisiana Detox Centers

There are two different types of detoxs in Louisiana. These include inpatient detox, where you go through withdrawal and sleep at the treatment facility. Non-medical detox, where you remain under the supervision and follow treatment advice provided by the clinic.

Given these two options, many wonder, when should you opt for a more supervised stay in a detox clinic? The truth of the matter is it’s ALWAYS better stay in an inpatient detox program.


The overall goal of a medical detox is to make sure you remain medically stable throughout withdrawal. In a detox clinic, you’ll receive the proper medical attention which can address life-threatening symptoms, such as hallucinations or seizures. This is why all inpatient clinics have 24-hour medical support.

Plus, inpatient detoxification clinics in the state of Louisiana offer a variety of services, including:

  • Case management services
  • Daily activities
  • Dietary services
  • Pharmaceutical services
  • Supportive counseling

Inpatient Louisiana Detox Clinic Treatment

So, what happens after assessment in a LA inpatient detox clinics?

The information obtained from your medical assessment will be given to a physician. Then, the doctor will create an individual detox plan for you. The detoxification plan must be reviewed and signed by you, the physician and the counselor who’s working with you. Then, the plan is filed in your record within 24 hours of admission with updates as needed.

From there, the detox facility staff will have a clear understanding of how your treatment should go and they’ll provide you with onsite monitoring as you carry through with withdrawals. In order to make sure your health stays in check, they will give you daily evaluations. Then, they must take notes about your response to and/or participation in scheduled activities.

Notes must include:

  • Your physical condition, including vital signs
  • Your mood and behavior
  • Your statements about your condition and needs
  • Information about the your progress or lack of progress in relation to detoxification goals
  • Additional notes as needed

Towards the end of detox, staff will assess your completion of treatment before discharge. Usually, you’ll be referred or transferred to another level of case or longer term rehab facility. But in Louisiana, when you leave detox, the clinic must draft a written discharge plan specific to your needs. The staff can help identify individual goals or activities to sustain your recovery. They also document attempts to involve family or an alternate support system as you prepare to leave.

Then, inpatient detox clinics prepare as discharge summary. This document must include a needs and problems assessment, an outline of the services provided, assessment of your progress towards goals, the circumstances of your discharge, and evidence that continuity of care was recommended following discharge.

Outpatient Louisiana Detox Centers

In Louisiana, a less supervised form of detox is called “non-medical” detox. However, it still takes place in an inpatient setting. During this type of treatment, you’ll be observed and monitored by para-professionals. Still, you must medical approved to qualify. Medical professionals must assess you first. They must expect predictable and mild withdrawal symptoms for you to be eligible.

So, you can qualify for a “non-medical” detox program in Louisiana in a few situations. “Non-medical” detox may be approved if:

  • The expected course of withdrawal is expected to be mild.
  • The staff have telephone access to RN or MD for instructions for your care.
  • Your stability and behavioral condition are well in check.
  • You have been medically cleared by a First Responder or equal as reflected in §7423.

If you believe you qualify for a non-medical detox, share this information during your intake. Most people who need detox need more supervised versions. This is because clinicians agree that it is safer for people to access medications or interventions when needed. For most people, a 100% drug-free environment is needed to prevent relapse. Plus, medical settings provide mental and emotional support during the process.

State Sponsored Detox in Louisiana

Louisiana has set up a number of different agencies people can reach out to when they’re struggling with addiction and in need of financial help for detox. These facilities are either federally or state-funded. The purpose is to reduce prison population as there has been a large increase within the last 15 years due to non-violent drug and alcohol crimes.

Louisiana also offers a number of free hotlines for you to contact. These include:

  • 24/7 Free Rehab Helpline: (888) 459-5511
  • Alcohol and Drug Helpline: (800) 821-4357
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Louisiana Detox for Veterans

There are many instances where Veterans turn to drug and alcohol use after their service. Particularly, this is due to the high rate of Veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. [7] To respond to this need, the state of Louisiana hosts a number of treatment centers which meet needs specifically for Veterans.

You can also turn to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs o seek out services for Veterans who suffer from drug or alcohol addiction. One of these services is a medical detoxification. If you’re interested, you can apply to VA health care here.

It’s vital to note, if you have a VA doctor, you should consult him/her about the right places to get screened for addiction and placed into detox. If you don’t have a VA doctor, you can reach out to these resources:

  • Addictive Disorder Regulatory Authority: (225) 361-0698
  • Louisiana Behavioral Health: (225) 342-9500

Forced Detox: La. R.S. 28 Title 28, Section 52.3

Within the United States, you might be involuntarily hospitalization for a number of reasons. [8] These include, but aren’t limited to:

  • A threat to yourself or others
  • Greatly disabled
  • In an unresponsive state

Does this mean you can be involuntarily placed into a detox clinic in Louisiana?

Yes. Under Mental Health law La. R.S. 28 Title 28, Section 52.3, the state can place you into a detox clinic for a number of different reasons. [9] Cases will vary from person to person. Some people will be involuntarily hospitalized simply to be evaluated. If this evaluation shows there’s a necessity for detox, then medical professionals will carry that out.

Detox Can Save Lives

So, how can detox help you?

It can save your life in more ways than you imagine.

First, a detox in Louisiana can help you manage life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can be unpredictable and severe. Also, there are some mental side effects that come with quitting drugs. Thoughts of suicide are common. Plus, the desire for your drug-of-choice can be overwhelming. So, detox lowers your risk of relapse.

Furthermore, many people who struggle with addiction often experience mental health conditions alongside drug use. For example, there are a number of cases where people feel depressed after quitting drugs or alcohol. This is due to the fact that dopamine levels are at an all-time-low and the brain needs a lot of time to learn how to naturally produce them again. [10]

A medical detox clinic in Louisiana will provide you with plenty of emotional support. By entering a detox facility, you are assuring yourself the safest way to withdrawal from drugs and alcohol.

Your Questions

Still have questions concerning drug and alcohol detox in Louisiana?

Feel free to ask them below. We also invite those with more knowledge on detoxing in Louisiana to leave a comment. We try to reply to all legitimate comments in a prompt and personal manner.

Reference Sources: [1] Medline Plus: Opiate and opioid withdrawal
[2] Department of Health and Hospitals Bureau of Health Services Financing: Minimum Standards/Requirements for Subsance Abuse/Addiction Treatment Facilities/Programs
[3] LAC Title 48 Part 1 Part 3 Chapter 74 § 7401
[4] LAC Title 48 Subchapter B. Core Requirements for All Programs § 7417
[5] NIH: Biology of Addiction
[6] NIAAA: An Overview of Outpatient and Inpatient Detoxification
[7] NIH: Military
[8] Louisiana Department of Health – Discharge Procedures
[9] La. R.S. 28 Title 28, Section 52.3
[10] NIH: Drugs, Brains, and Behavior: The Science of Addiction
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
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