Medical Detox Program Opens at University Hospital & Clinics


University Hospital & Clinics (UHC) has re-established its Medical Detoxification Program, which is now open and seeing patients. The former medical detoxification unit, which operated under the name of First Step, has been closed since February 2012, when State of Louisiana budget reductions forced its closure.

This makes UHC Lafayette's only hospital-run inpatient medical detox facility.

The voluntary inpatient program will provide 24-hour medically supervised evaluation and treatment to eligible patients 18 years or older. The mission of the program is to provide the "first step” in a patient’s rehabilitation process by providing a safe, therapeutic detoxification experience, while minimizing the painful effects of withdrawal. This will allow the patient to complete the remaining steps of their recovery and rehabilitation in a more comprehensive program at another facility.

"This fulfills a great need in Lafayette," stated UHC President/CEO Jared Stark, FACHE. "This is yet another former closure that we have brought back to our community. Our goal is to keep this momentum going."

Compass Health will manage the 12-bed medical detox program for UHC by providing trained detox nursing and counseling staff members and supervisors. UHC, in cooperation with LSU Health System, will provide physician services. The hospital will provide the support of a pharmacy, diagnostic and testing services, and dietary and environmental services.

Lafayette General Health now has the ability to transfer patients willing to receive needed medical detox services from any of its affiliated emergency departments to the inpatient program at UHC.

In order to be admitted into the program, a patient must meet certain criteria, the most important of which is a primary diagnosis of Substance Dependence and/or Substance Withdrawal. They must also voluntarily agree to participate in the treatment program.

It is expected that most patients will be admitted for detoxification from alcohol, benzodiazepines and/or opioids. A detox protocol will be initiated upon admission to the program. The detox protocols generally have a duration of 5-7 days, depending upon the patient’s condition. All medications prescribed are at the lowest effective dosages that are medically feasible for control of the patient’s withdrawal symptoms and condition. Upon discharge, staff will assist patients in transitioning elsewhere to a more comprehensive program for their addictions.

Since UHC opened under LGH management (June 24, 2013)...

  • The Orthopedic Clinic was immediately expanded to include a full-time orthopedic medical staff, after services had been drastically reduced over the past several years Eight additional inpatient beds have opened
  • A third operating room (OR) has opened and more OR time has been added
  • Cardiology services have been enhanced through a partnership with Cardiovascular Institute of the South (CIS) and cardiology clinic days have increased, meaning more availability for patients
  • Plans have been made to add interventional cardiology
  • The Oncology Clinic has been enhanced with assistance from Cancer Center of Acadiana
  • Outpatient pediatric services returned in December 2013 after their closure in June 2012
  • A capital output of nearly $750,000 has been used to purchase a new ultrasound machine, nuclear medicine camera, C-arm for surgical imaging and a stress EKG machine
  • Outpatient diabetes nutrition education classes are now held monthly

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