The Behavioral Health Services Addiction Center at Loretto Hospital began in 1975 as the Alcoholic Program and Education Center. In an attempt to rehabilitate people battling alcoholism, this original program consisted of nine beds strictly for detox, supervised by a psychiatrist and nursing staff.
Today Loretto Hospital reserves 28 beds for detox clients and 16 beds for its residential treatment program, in addition to offering outpatient services to adults struggling with substance abuse and co-occurring disorders.
Accommodations and Food
The substance abuse program at Loretto Hospital is divided between two floors—the residential program is on the fourth and the detox unit is on the fifth. Each room is double occupancy with a private bathroom. While the ambience is a traditional clinical setting, clients sleep in twin beds rather than hospital beds and the therapy rooms are carpeted to create a warmer feel. In addition to the therapy rooms, there is a dining room, a small kitchen and a TV room.
Meals are served three times a day and brought to the unit from the hospital cafeteria. Prepared by licensed nutritionists, the food is healthy, each meal is balanced and special requests can be accommodated.
Like most residential facilities, there are no cell phones, laptops or personal electronics permitted at Loretto Hospital. There is no smoking allowed either—clients are provided with nicotine patches and smoking cessation classes are offered.
Treatment and Staff
The detox program runs anywhere from three days to two weeks, depending on the client. Librium is used for alcohol withdrawal and Suboxone for opiates. Comfort and sleeping meds are also administered. The unit physician and a 24-hour nursing staff monitor clients.
Residential treatment at Loretto Hospital is 28 days long. Treatment techniques are based on CBT and include group sessions and individual therapy. Clients start the day at 7 am with breakfast followed by an 8 am serenity meeting. There is a lecture group on addiction at 9 am and then a communication group and lunch at noon. Those with co-occurring disorders attend additional groups specific to their assessment, including managing depression and anxiety. At 2 pm, there is a community meeting, followed by family dynamics group and free time until dinner at 5 pm. At 6:30 pm, clients attend smoking cessation, individual therapy or community behavior meeting, depending on each person’s individual schedule and the day of the week. AA and NA panels are brought to the unit on Tuesday and Friday evenings. Step studies are held on Saturday and Sunday mornings at 10 am. Visiting is on Saturday from 3:30 to 5 pm, followed by a Saturday night movie on the unit. Residents do not go off-site during the treatment stay.
The staff consists of Master’s-level therapists, substance abuse counselors, registered nurses, a psychiatrist and a unit physician. The client-to-staff ratio is six-to-one.
The most structured level of outpatient care at Loretto is Intensive Outpatient (IOP)—clients meet Mondays through Fridays from 4:30 to 6:30 pm for eight weeks. Outpatient is the next step-down in care—clients meet three times per week for two hours for six weeks. There are group and individual therapy sessions with similar topics in both programs. Group topics include relapse prevention, coping skills, addiction education, dealing with cravings and group communication.
Family members who wish to participate may attend family group on Tuesday nights. This includes an educational seminar on addiction and family relationships.
Loretto Hospital has a long treatment history in Chicago—40 years of continuous service is a testament to this program’s success. This no-frills treatment has all the elements of a tested recovery program—CBT, 12-step meetings and dual diagnosis support—in a small group hospital setting.
645 South Central Ave
Chicago, IL 60644
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