Odyssey House Louisiana (OHL) is a nonprofit behavioral health care provider with an emphasis on addiction treatment. OHL was established in 1973 as a nonprofit residential substance abuse treatment facility with the mission of empowering people to conquer addiction. Today, Odyssey House offers a professional, structured and caring Therapeutic Community with comprehensive services and effective support systems that enable individuals to chart new lives and return to their communities as contributing members.
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Odyssey House Louisiana was established in 1973 as a nonprofit residential substance abuse treatment facility and the first true therapeutic community in New Orleans. Over more than three decades, OHL has grown and evolved to include many innovative programs to serve the needs of special populations.
The Odyssey House therapeutic community concept and program, founded by Dr. Judianne Denson-Gerber in New York in 1966, was among the first to incorporate psychosocial methodology to foster personal growth in addiction treatment. This was a dramatic contrast to the use of methadone as a treatment plan, which was prevalent in the 1960s. The innovative and successful Odyssey House program has spread to five other cities in the U.S. and to Australia and New Zealand.
In 1973, Odyssey House Louisiana was primarily a treatment facility for those addicted to heroin. Initially, the program served single men and, later, single women. As street drugs became more varied and plentiful, and issues such as domestic violence and HIV became more destructive, Odyssey House has adapted and developed its programs to serve the changing needs and challenges of Louisiana residents. OHL was among the first treatment facilities in the region to offer residential treatment to women with children.