Substance abuse treatment in Lexington, Kentucky has been boosted over the last few months thanks to a website, FindHelpNowKY.org, that was created to help state residents find drug abuse treatment.
“This was funded by the Centers for Disease Control National Center for Injury Prevention and Control,” said Dr. Terry Bunn, the director of the Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center (KIPRC). “We received the funding for the establishment of the website as the bonafide agent for the Kentucky State Department for Public Health.”
Bunn indicated that the KIPRC hired four new team members for this project, three were tasked with working with the state department to determine which substance abuse treatment centers would be able to work with their website after visiting their facilities.
“We wanted to gain their participation because pretty much the main goal of our website is to not only provide a list of all the substance abuse disorder treatment facilities in the state but also to provide those facilities that have openings at that time so they are required for participation on the website to update their availability on a daily basis.”
Bunn stated that her team spent approximately a year developing the site and determining the substance abuse treatment centers would be featured.
“It’s built entirely from scratch and we wanted to base it on a concept where you just answer a few optional questions and right away you will be provided with a list, location and contact information for that facility that has available openings at that time.”
When people access the website, they are asked several questions including who needs help, what type of addiction treatment is needed, the gender of the person who needs treatment, the location and what type of payment that will be used.
The website also provides resources that allow people to determine which substance abuse program fits their needs. It provides information about some of the types of addiction treatment that are available throughout the area and topics that could be relevant to the patients.
The website has a provider login section where medical health professionals associated with the site can enter in their daily information to better assist patients in locating the correct substance abuse treatment center.
“Since we went live around February 1, we actually have about 455 treatment facilities participating in the website,” Bunn said. “We have had over 92,000 page views and over 23,000 visits. We started a media campaign in early June to promote the website because before it was primarily word of mouth. Since that promotion started June 1, we are gaining 1600 visitors every week.”
Bunn stated that the most significant difficulty she experienced was persuading the substance abuse treatment centers to update their information daily.
“We worked with a number of different partners and really focused on what we’re trying to do,” she said. “When their availability is known to the general public, they don’t have to market the facility at all. Basically, we’re doing the marketing for them. So, if there’s an availability then the website user will know that.”
“What we want to do with this website is increase timely access to treatment,” Bunn said.