WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration has unveiled a website aimed at helping millions of Americans with substance abuse issues learn about and locate treatment options.
FindTreatment.gov is the latest development in the administration’s effort to address the nation’s opioid crisis. The White House said it believes the site, which went up Wednesday, will enable the tens of millions of Americans with a variety of substance abuse and mental health issues to better access the care they need.
Kellyanne Conway, the counselor to President Donald Trump
who is leading the White House response to the drug crisis, said the
site is designed to provide “connectivity” between treatment providers
and those who need help.
FindTreatment.gov modernizes an obscure
directory of 13,000 licensed treatment providers maintained by the
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, adding
user-friendly search criteria and tools. For instance, it will now allow
users to search based on the type of treatment sought — such as
inpatient, detox or telemedicine — by payment option and whether the
treatment is medication-assisted.
Users also will be able to select between options that focus on youth, veterans and LGBT Americans.
website also is meant to be an educational resource for those needing
care and their loved ones with information on how to pay for treatment.
“We know that the drug crisis is indiscriminate, so we want the response to be indiscriminate,” Conway said.
website was built in-house by government coders and is managed by the
White House. The administration is calling FindTreatment.gov an example
of “American-First design” that offers easy access to information
without breaking the federal budget.
“We designed it with human-centered principles in mind,” Conway said. “We used real words for real people.”
effort included employing a language expert for help with providing
“destigmatizing” explanations for treatment options to make them more
acceptable to those in need.
The site’s design was informed by
more than 300 user feedback responses and 60 detailed interviews with
those who have sought treatment, their family members and providers, the
White House said.
The website builds on other efforts by the
White House to address the drug crisis, including law enforcement
efforts, securing billions of dollars from Congress for treatment and
working with the private sector on promoting drug “take back” days.
More than 70,000 Americans died in 2017 from drug overdoses, the bulk of them involving opioids.
Future developments include plans to more closely integrate the site with the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide more targeted resources to the community of former service members.
By Zeke Miller