CINCINNATI - Finding quick access to addiction treatment services has long been a top challenge in Ohio's battle against the escalating opioid epidemic.
A recently launched website hopes overcome that barrier.
Findlocaltreatment.com allows individuals, health systems and other community-based groups to search for accredited addiction service providers that are actively accepting new patients.
Founded by Troy, Ohio native Raj Gupta, the website recently landed the support of Mercy Health Foundation
“Unfortunately, people who are ready to commit to addiction recovery struggle to find treatment providers who can accept them for care in a timely fashion," said Gupta, co-founder and CEO of Crosswave Health, which created the website. "Treatment facilities often have room for more patients, but matching them to a specific patient profile with real-time data has been impossible until now.”
Gupta returned to the Buckeye state nearly two years ago from Silicon Valley after learning of a close family friend's battle with addiction and struggle to find treatment.
"There are a lot of complicated reasons this epidemic is destroying our community, but if there are going to be solutions that help us overcome this, they will have to come from our communities," Gupta said. "When I think about the skills I've developed, I felt I had an obligation and duty to help solve this problem."
Those who visit the website can instantly search local treatment providers using criteria including age, sex, substances of choice and accepted insurance.
"When someone is ready for addiction treatment, it happens in a moment -- and in that moment resources need to be available," Gupta said.
All providers listed on the site must confirm their accreditation and pay a subscription fee to access the platform.
The new website recently landed the support of Mercy Health and its foundation. While Mercy Health offers inpatient medically assisted withdrawal management, the healthcare system has "struggled to find longer-term care options for these patients," said Dr. Larry Graham of Mercy Health's Behavioral Health Services.
The health system recently launched Mercy Health Addiction Treatment Collaborative, which includes 14 area addiction service providers.
"FindLocalTreatment.com extends our ability to place patients successfully and appropriately,” Graham said.
Crosswave is also working with the Addiction Services Council as it begins to enlist providers across the region.
"We work with people every day who are searching for help, often confused as they wind their way through the treatment system," said Nan Franks, CEO of Addiction Services Council. "For many, this application will increase their ability to find the right provider for their needs."
For now, the website is accepting participation from addiction providers in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. Eventually, Gupta hopes it can become a country-wide resource.
"Our goal isn't just to create a platform for the addiction crisis our community faces today, but to prepare our communities for anything that may happen in the future," Gupta said.