BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — With East Baton Rouge on pace to break yet another record for overdose deaths, Executive Director of the Bridge Center for Hope Charlotte Claiborne is reminding the public that there is help.
“We’re open 24 hours, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, and that’s by design because we know that crisis doesn’t happen between 9-5,” said Claiborne. “We take all of your barriers away, and what I mean by that is this, we have a lot of people that will say, ‘Oh, I don’t have insurance.’ That is not an issue, we take anyone from Medicare to commercial pay or no payment at all.”
That help includes providing transportation if needed. Claiborne said the goal is to prevent people who are on the verge of going into crisis. No one is turned away, but you have to want the help.
“We have what is called a ‘no wrong door policy’ and what does that mean? You can come as often as you like because we know that recovery doesn’t happen as often as just one time,” she said.
Claiborne said the opioid epidemic is heavily affecting our communities, in her experience, she said that addiction and mental health issues do not discriminate.
“70816, 70817, 70815, zip codes, those areas have the highest overdose in East Baton Rouge. So if you’re not familiar with those, that’s Sherwood Forest, your O’Neal Lanes, your Coursey Boulevard, that area right there,” said Claiborne.
Having hit a low herself, Claiborne’s message is simple.
“In May my house flooded, in July my dog of 11 years died, and in September my father passed. If it came down to it I knew that I had a place to go and you all have a place to go, you all have someplace to go… it does not matter,” said Claiborne.