BATON ROUGE – The Department of Health – Office for Addictive Disorders will host a series of forums in different areas of the state to link treatment and prevention services providers with recipients.

Also, the forums will be a way to help those whose treatment was disrupted by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita connect with services available in an area where they are now located.

“We host these forums every year, but this year will be especially important because of the events that happened in our state,” said OAD Assistant Secretary Michael Duffy. “It is important that we help people who were in addiction treatment find ways to continue in their new locations.”

Each forum will be informational, with different booths about addiction treatment and prevention services available in each region. Attendees will have the chance to visit the booths and talk one-on-one with representatives before and after a town hall-style meeting with OAD staff.

“In the past, we used an open meeting with a question-and-answer format to address addiction and recovery needs in an area,” Duffy said. “However, we learned that many people would feel more comfortable talking to the providers one-on-one, so we have created an opportunity for that this year.”

In addition to providing information about addiction treatment and prevention, booths giving information about housing, transportation and a myriad of other topics that are of interest to people needing treatment will also be available.

Forums are scheduled for all areas of the state except the Greater New Orleans and Jefferson Parish area. OAD staff have been unable to schedule a forum in that part of a state because of a lack of facilities. However, staff in this area will work with local social service agencies to develop mechanisms for people in that area to make comments and ask questions about addiction treatment. Also, people from these areas are welcome to attend forums in other parts of the state.

A calendar of forums and when they will take place is attached.

Feb. 9  Baton Rouge forum
Capital Area Human Services District
4615 Government St., Building 2
Baton Rouge
10 a.m.

Feb. 17 Florida Parishes forum
Southeastern Louisiana University
University Center
Room 125
10 a.m.

Feb. 22 Houma/Thibodaux forum
Nicholls State University
Century Room
9 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Feb. 23 Northwest Louisiana forum
Hamilton/South Caddo Library
21111 Bert Kouns
9:30 a.m.

March 8 Acadiana forum
Clifton Chenier Center
220-B West Willow St.
3-4:30 p.m.

March 9 Lake Charles area forum
Lake Charles Civic Center
900 Lakeshore Drive
2nd Floor -- Mezzanine
Lake Charles
10:00 a.m.

March 15 Northeast Louisiana forum
Monroe City Council Chambers
400 Lea Joyner Ave.
10 a.m. – noon

March 16 Central Louisiana forum
Pineville Community Center
708 Main St.
10 a.m.