NEW ORLEANS -- Addiction recovery treatment was already lacking in the Greater New Orleans area. Now, the announcement of two clinic closures has patients both wondering where they will live and where they will get affordable treatment.
"I was tired of living the way I was living, and I really, I have a family I'm trying to reunite with and there's a lot of things going for me right now that if I'm using, I just don't have," said a man in recovery who did not want to be identified.
He is in recovery for cocaine addiction. Clean for four months now, he says the transitional living program at Addiction Recovery Resources was making a big difference.
"Living in a place and having some stability is a big part of the, you know, getting sober program," he said.
But several days ago, the local ownership changed hands after being bought by out-of-state owners. With that came the closure of the west bank and downtown clinics.
The Metairie and St. Charles Parish clinics remain open, but the staff is smaller and there's been a complete reorganization of all programs.
"We will continue to see the people that admit to our services for their first year, but after that year, we will be referring them on," explained Dr. Ken Roy.
Former owner, psychiatrist Dr. Ken Roy, is now the chief medical officer. He says the scaled down business will move from more outpatient treatment to a focus on 44 inpatient Medicaid residential treatment beds. They are helping people on long-term medicine treatment find other prescribers, but it's not easy with the lack of services in the market and the lack of doctors who take Medicaid reimbursement for addiction treatment.
"They're the poorest people, so they sometimes have trouble accessing that care," Dr. Roy said.
Some in recovery now tell us they are concerned people will relapse. As one patient said, 'Former users are always looking for an excuse to use again.'
Addiction Recovery Resources says patients should call for help with referrals. 1.866.399.HOPE (4673)