“It does not look like a hospital and there is discretion”: report at the Chanteau alcohol treatment center, near Orléans

A cat is sleeping, curled up on an armchair in one of the activity rooms. He’s been hanging out there since Christmas. It is almost the only soul that lives in this center of cure of alcoholism Paul-Cézanne, in Chanteau.

Patients returned home after a Covid cluster. A first. The day and night nurses take the opportunity to meet and discuss.

In this branch of the Daumézon public mental health establishment, patients suffering from alcoholism are welcomed. They come for a few days or weeks (12 beds are open), for twice five-day weaning or a four-week cure. Or simply in a day hospital.

The center has 8 rooms and 12 beds. Photo Pascal Proust

An old inn

This former inn, known as La Cochonnerie, as evidenced by an old black and white photo from 1907, later became a restaurant. The building adjoins fields. She is pleasant in many ways.

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“Patients appreciate the calm side. We do qi gong in the garden. In the spring, there are flowers in the yard. It doesn’t look like a hospital and there is discretion. They are sure not to meet a neighbor here,” explains Gaëlle Lefaucheux, the health manager.

The health manager, Gaëlle Lefaucheux. Photo Pascal Proust

A hundred patients are welcomed there each year, from all over the department, even from Blois and the Paris region. All are volunteers and called by their first name to guarantee a certain anonymity.

“We only do free hospitalization. We are closed on weekends: they return to their families and are confronted with reality. It’s part of the therapy. It’s an opportunity to implement the tools learned at the center.

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Each week, a brand new admissions committee evaluates the motivation of the patients and therefore refutes certain files.

A living room to watch TV. Photo Pascal Proust

A dedicated and multidisciplinary team takes care of them, made up of doctors, nurses, caregivers, psychologists, social workers, psychomotricians and dieticians, in particular. The position of psychiatrist is vacant. Like every health resort, this one has a specific line of work. “Here we use cognitive-behavioral therapy which aims to appreciate the emotions, to help them keep their goal of abstinence, to build a toolbox for them.”

“The effects on sleep can be seen quickly”

In addition to medical support, many workshops are planned: sophrology, cardiac coherence, dance… And meals are taken together.

“It resocializes them. Similarly, we only allow cell phones between 5 and 9 p.m., so that they are not polluted and refocus on themselves and treatments. We also insist on the importance of sleeping at night The effects on sleep can be seen quickly. They find that you can laugh without a product, regain confidence and a better lifestyle.”

The dining room where meals are taken together, to resocialize patients. Photo Pascal Proust

The nurses assure us: the patients come out “physically restored. They look better, they are less tired and more smiling”. Even if some relapse and come back. “Their journey is never linear…”

Useful numbers
Cézanne cure center for advice/info: 02.38.75.16.36.
Psychiatric emergencies in Daumézon in the event of a crisis: 02.38.60.59.29.

Marie Guibal

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