‘It doesn’t look like a hospital and there is discretion’: report at Chanteau alcohol treatment center near Orléans

A cat sleeps, curled up on a chair in one of the activity rooms. He’s been there since Christmas. It is almost the only soul that lives in this center for the treatment of alcoholism Paul-Cézanne in Chanteau.

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This branch of the Daumézon public psychiatric hospital accepts alcoholic patients. They come for a few days or weeks (12 beds are open), for two five-day weaning sessions or a four-week cure. Or just in a day clinic.

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 photograph from 1907, later became a restaurant. The building borders fields. It is pleasant in many ways.

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“Patients appreciate the calm side. We do qigong in the garden. In spring there are flowers in the yard. It doesn’t look like a hospital and there is discretion. You certainly won’t meet any neighbors here.” explains Gaëlle Lefaucheux, the health manager.

The health manager Gaëlle Lefaucheux. Photo Pascal Proust

A hundred patients from all over the department, even from Blois and the Paris region, are received there every year. All are volunteers and are called by their first names to ensure a certain degree of anonymity.

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

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Each week, a brand new admissions committee assesses patient motivation and therefore refutes certain files.

A living room to watch TV. Photo Pascal Proust

They are looked after by a dedicated and multidisciplinary team made up in particular of doctors, nurses, carers, psychologists, social workers, psychomotor therapists and nutritionists. The position of psychiatrist is vacant. Like any health resort, this one has a specific area of ​​work. “Here we use cognitive-behavioral therapy aimed at assessing the emotions, helping them keep their goal of abstinence, to build a toolbox for them.”

“The effects on sleep can be seen quickly”

In addition to medical care, many workshops are planned: sophrology, cardiac coherence, dance… And we will eat together.

“It resocializes them. Likewise, we only allow cell phones between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. so that they don’t get dirty and can get back to focusing on themselves and treatments. We also insist on the importance of sleeping at night. The impact on sleep are easy to see.” They find that without a product, you can laugh, regain confidence, and live a better lifestyle.”

The dining room where meals are shared to help resocialize patients. Photo Pascal Proust

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

Useful Numbers
Cézanne Spa Center for advice/info:
Psychiatric emergencies in Daumézon in case of crisis:

Marie Gibal


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