There’s been a lull in national discussions about America’s opioid crisis, but last week, the federal government – in a largely unnoticed move – relaunched FindTreatment.gov – a national substance used disorder treatment database. The online treatment locator is boldly marked as “An official website of the United States government” to reassure visitors who have become wary of online addiction marketing gimmicks that collect and broker potential patient information.
Addiction treatment facilities can be sorted by the type of treatment they offer, including treatment for co-occurring mental illness and substance use and telemedicine care that can be accessed via phone, tablet or desktop computer. The new locator also allows searches of programs based on payment option, age, languages spoken, and access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorder. FindTreatment.gov is a reboot of a SAMHSA website that had fewer updated resources, less robust search functions, dated design and dated terminology.
More than 13,000 state-licensed facilities are included in the database and a routine search of several local zip codes and towns returned solid, accurate results. FCA’s Hicksville Counseling Center, for example, comes up at the top of the list for treatment options in Hicksville.
New York State OASAS has operated its own statewide treatment locator for several years and the new federal website mirrors many of its features. Critical to both websites is the fact that only state-licensed treatment facilities are including the directory and while licensing requirements vary by state, New York’s are strict.
FindTreatment.gov is an important tool for families and patients looking for help and offers a meaningful alternative to the thousands of worthless online treatment directories that promote substandard treatment centers, blast the reader with pop-up ads and lure unsuspecting and desperate visitors into disclosing personal information.