Campus News

'Behind the Blue': Public Health Leader Helps Kentuckians Find Help Now

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 18, 2018) —  One of the biggest barriers to accessing treatment for substance use disorders can be the time it takes to find an open space in a treatment facility. By the time a clinician, family member or patient can find the right facility for their needs and navigate the insurance process, the bed in question may have been filled or the window of opportunity for recovery may have passed.

During a visit with her own primary care physician, Terry Bunn, an associate professor in the University of Kentucky College of Public Health and director of the Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center (KIPRC) heard that same sentiment repeated. As the leader of KIPRC, a bona fide agent of the Kentucky Department for Public Health, Bunn knew there was a solution to this issue, that more people with substance use disorders could be helped and lives could be saved.

In February 2018, "Find Help Now KY" was launched. Kentucky is currently the only state with a near real-time treatment opening locator for substance use disorders. The locator guides individuals to available treatment openings. It takes into consideration the substance(s) being used, payment options including commercial and public insurance programs, gender identity, preference for in- or out-patient treatment and needed co-occurring treatments such as mental health care, plus 30 more criteria. The site provides daily availability information for treatment openings, to enable rapid admission to addiction programs.

On this week's episode of "Behind the Blue" hear about the development of "Find Help Now KY", the success the site has experienced and KIPRC's efforts to assist other states in the development of their own website to help those in active addiction.

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