Increased Precautions We're Taking in Response to the Coronavirus
As updates on the impact of the coronavirus continue to be released, we want to take a moment to inform you of the heightened preventative measures we have put in place at Vermilion Behavioral Health Systems to keep our patients, their families, and our employees safe. All efforts are guided by and in adherence to the recommendations distributed by the CDC.

Please note that for the safety of our patients, their families, and our staff, on-site visitation is no longer allowed at Vermilion Behavioral Health Systems.

  • This restriction has been implemented in compliance with updated corporate and state regulations to further reduce the risks associated with COVID-19.
  • We are offering visitation through telehealth services so that our patients can remain connected to their loved ones.
  • Alternate methods of communication for other services are being vetted and may be offered when deemed clinically appropriate.

For specific information regarding these changes and limitations, please contact us directly.

CDC updates are consistently monitored to ensure that all guidance followed is based on the latest information released.

  • All staff has received infection prevention and control training.
  • Thorough disinfection and hygiene guidance has been provided.
  • Patient care supplies such as masks and hand sanitizer are being monitored and utilized.
  • Temperature and symptom screening protocols are in place for all patients and staff.
  • Social distancing strategies have been implemented to ensure that patients and staff maintain proper distance from one another at all times.
  • Cleaning service contracts have been reviewed for additional support.
  • Personal protective equipment items are routinely checked to ensure proper and secure storage.
  • CDC informational posters are on display to provide important reminders on proper infection prevention procedures.
  • We are in communication with our local health department to receive important community-specific updates.

The safety of our patients, their families, and our employees is our top priority, and we will remain steadfast in our efforts to reduce any risk associated with COVID-19.

The CDC has provided a list of easy tips that can help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then immediately dispose of the tissue.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are frequently touched.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.

For detailed information on COVID-19, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Fentanyl Deaths on the Rise in Lafayette Parish

The synthetic opioid known as fentanyl is said to have caused a spike in overdoses in Lafayette Parish over the last year, with officials stating that the number of deaths from the drug quadrupled in 2016 alone.

The Dangers of Fentanyl

While most people are familiar with the dangerous consequences of abusing other illicit opioids, such as heroin, the signs and dangers of fentanyl abuse have not come into public’s awareness until recently, when this drug claimed the lives of a staggering number of people in communities across the country.

Said to be up to 50 times stronger than heroin, fentanyl produces an intense, but brief, high. Over time, a person who abuses fentanyl will begin to develop a tolerance to the substance. When this occurs, he or she will require more of the drug and in more frequent doses to achieve the desired effect.

The Risk of Accidental Overdose

The dangers of abusing an opioid that is as strong as fentanyl cannot be overstated, but sadly, many have ingested the drug without even being aware of it. This is due to the fact that, recently, heroin has begun to be mixed with substances like fentanyl, and then illegally distributed without any regulation or labeling.

Additionally, fentanyl is also being sold as OxyContin, which is putting users of prescription painkillers at an elevated risk for accidental overdose. According to Sheriff Mark Garber, individuals who take drugs from unknown sources can never be completely sure of what they contain, warning that the people that engage in this risky behavior are “unwittingly getting themselves into an overdose situation.”

The rise in fentanyl use is also due in part to the fact that the drug is easier and cheaper to produce than heroin. This sad reality has incentivized illegal drug manufacturers outside the United States to increase the amount of the substance for sale in communities like Lafayette Parish and across the country.

Lafayette Responds

In order to raise awareness to the rising fentanyl-related death toll seen in Lafayette, officials with the Lafayette Metro Narcotics, Lafayette Sheriff’s Office, and Lafayette Police Department recently held a news conference. The Lafayette Police Department is hard at work in their efforts to halt the influx of fentanyl into the community, stating that “local and state law enforcement officials are working together to identify and arrest suppliers and dealers responsible for putting the drug on the streets.”

While police departments throughout the state of Louisiana are doing all they can to keep drugs like fentanyl out of their communities, they need assistance in curbing the dangerous trend of opioid abuse. Raising public awareness is a key component in helping to curb the type of accidental overdose that is so often caused by fentanyl use.