Amid growing opioid epidemic, detox center opens in New Orleans East

NEW ORLEANS -- A new detox center has opened inside New Orleans East Hospital to help the ever growing number of people struggling with drug and alcohol addiction.

It's called the Townsend Recovery Center, and you can find it on the fifth floor of the hospital.

Townsend Recovery Center New Orleans will offer 36 beds and provide detox and residential treatment services using a personalized approach that includes addressing the genetic components of addiction and determining which medications are most useful to each patient.

In 2016, the number of drug-related deaths in New Orleans surpassed the number of homicides. According to Orleans Parish Coroner Dr. Jeffrey Rouse, that's likely the first time in the history of the city that this has happened.

"We are losing far too many people to the drug epidemic," said Natashia Cheatham, Townsend CEO. " This community was devastated by Hurricane Katrina and ever since there has been a dire need for medical care. By collaborating with the hospital on this initiative, we now have a greater opportunity to save more lives."