With a population of 120 thousand across its 49 square miles, Lafayette, or "The Hub City", is the fourth largest city in the state of Louisiana. Its history goes back to 1821 when it was founded by Jean Mouton who named it Vermilionville. It wasn't until 1884 when it was renamed after General Lafayette due to his significant aid to the American Army during the Revolutionary War.
But before all of that in the late 1700's it had European settlers, mostly trappers and smugglers, although they did not set up an actual city, they had trading post and camps.
Today the city and parish governments have been consolidated and as a result they have a city-parish president as their chief executive instead of a mayor. A proposal was put forth in 2011 to separate the parish and city governments, but this was rejected by voters. Their land use and public utilities in both the city and parish are all governed by one representative body and executive order, but they still have five different police agencies within the city-parish boundaries covering city police, parish sheriffs, university police, city marshals and park police activities.
The Lafayette Parish School System offers nine different career academies once students reach the high school level that are designed to prepare students in different fields. These include business & finance, engineering, environmental sciences, health careers, information technology, performing arts, visual & applied arts, early college academic training and career and technical schooling.
Lafayette Hospitals Receive 18 People Due to Synthetic Pot:
The wave of synthetic pot that has been hitting the United States has sent least 18 young adults into Lafayette hospitals recently.Capt. Dwayne Prejean of metro narcotics said that although a few of the people were from the parish, nearly all of the cases involved people from Lafayette. Most of the time the young people taking these drugs didn't know that synthetic marijuana could be that much more potent and dangerous than regular pot.
Young drug offenders were surveyed as to why they use synthetic marijuana and the number one response was that you never knew what type of high you would get. You can get a marijuana type high, an ecstasy type high or an LSD type high. People go through hallucinations and into delirium. They forget their names, run down the street ripping their shirts off because they believe spiders are all over them, experience seizures and some people state that they feel like committing suicide.
Up until a few years ago, synthetic marijuana was readily available in convenience stores. Federal drug authorities made the five active chemicals in them illegal to put an end to this, but drug dealers and manufacturers have begun changing the chemicals in them in an attempt to "fight back" and make it easier to sell their deadly and dangerous product.
They label these drugs as "incense" or "potpourri under names like K-2, Yucatan Fire, Skunk or Moon Rocks. This is done when they have an active ingredient that is illegal to sell for consumption, but has a loophole that allows it to be sold for other reasons. The buyers of these products are not buying them by mistake though, almost one for one they know what they are buying and how to use it to get high.
Third and Fourth OWI Offenders Targets to Wean Off Alcohol through New Court Program:
State officials in Lafayette are now three months into a new program that seeks to wean drunken drivers off of alcohol. This program demands sobriety and discipline from offenders who have been convicted of three and four OWIs (Operating While Intoxicated). By pleading guilty to their latest OWI charge they were given a spot in the districts Sobriety Court.
The program requires them to wear alcohol detection devices for 18 months, be home by 10:00 PM, get twice weekly drug tests and participate in a rehab program or support group. They are also required to visit a judge once every two weeks where they will be encouraged or admonished depending on their recent activity. They are required to do all this, but they get to stay out of jail.
The 15th District Court Judge Thomas Duplantier is responsible for the once per two weeks visits. He sees people of every demographic come through there. One such recent man came in asking for permission to participate in a Mardi Gras parade while still in his 18 months of watch. Duplantier responded by saying:
“When you’re in the program, it’s really not a good thing to be around a bunch of drunk people.” The answer for you is you’re not allowed to march in a parade. … You have to convince this team that you are clean and sober and show that you understand.”
The federal National Highway Safety Board granted $150 thousand to the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission, which in turn funded this program for Lafayette. Right now, with the current rate of people coming through this program, the funds are expected to run out in late 2017, at which point the results of this program will either help or hinder them from finding further funding.
Drug Treatment Options in Lafayette, Louisiana:
Lafayette, Louisiana has 10 drug rehab centers available for people who are seeking help for their addiction to drugs or alcohol. Among these 10 choices you will find payment options of just about every type. When choosing a center, make sure that your insurance, or other means of payment, is accepted there as not all centers are required to accept all types of payment.
Common payment options at rehab centers are self-pay, self-pay with sliding scale, Medicaid, Medicare, private health insurance, military insurance and payment assistance. Sliding scales work by using a number of factors, including income, to reduce the rate of care provided there so that it can be afforded by almost all applicants.