KIPRC-developed treatment locator expands to Tennessee, more states interested
Screenshot of the homepage of Users can now choose between Kentucky and Tennessee jurisdictions.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 16, 2023) — Since launching in February 2018, has been visited more than 800,000 times by nearly 400,000 visitors. FindHelpNow is a near-real-time substance use disorder treatment locator created by the University of Kentucky College of Public Health’s Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center (KIPRC). While the substance use disorder (SUD) treatment locator website started in Kentucky, Tennessee recently launched its own FindHelpNow website, and three other jurisdictions are in the process of joining.

“SUD treatment referral practices require innovative strategies that rapidly link individuals to available care when they are at the critical moment of readiness,” said Catherine Hines, KIPRC expert and research program manager for “Analysis of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) treatment episode discharge data sets showed that SUD treatment referral occurred primarily through self-referral and the criminal justice system; health care practitioners count as an additional referral source. Platforms like FindHelpNow can be utilized by all these professionals, and expansion to other states can increase the number of people who are able to obtain timely access to SUD treatment.”

When visiting, visitors enter basic search criteria and then are provided with a near-real-time list of SUD treatment facilities with available openings. Visitors can then access a facility’s contact information and begin the process of reaching out to the facilities to obtain treatment.

“All searches are location-based; an individual can search for a facility in the town of their choosing and then use over 60 search filters to narrow the search results to the facilities that most closely fit their needs for method of payment, hours of operation, wrap-around services, etc.,” said Leah Dick, KIPRC expert and the new program manager for

While Kentucky was the first state to launch the database, Tennessee’s went live on Oct. 5, 2022.

Kristen Zak, deputy director of the Overdose Response Coordination Office at the Tennessee Department of Health, said Tennessee identified developing a central portal for treatment resources in the state as a goal during their initial application for an Overdose Data to Action (OD2A) grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“We had received feedback from many programs that intensive efforts were required to develop paper resource directories that quickly became outdated,” said Zak. “So, while we knew we wanted to prioritize such a project and wrote it into our Overdose Data to Action application, we didn’t really know how to go about creating such a resource and didn’t have any idea what it would cost. Then, we became aware of, began researching the opportunity, and attended the first FindHelpNow conference to learn more. The site was exactly what we envisioned creating, and the development and research had already been done by our neighbor state. So this was very attractive to us.”

Hines said KIPRC, where was created and is currently based, helps jurisdictions to onboard to the FindHelpNow platform or supports through KIPRC’s technical assistance in developing their own linkage-to-SUD care practices and websites. The implementation process has each step laid out in detail and prepares jurisdictions to know what to expect throughout the process. KIPRC‘s team is available for meetings, training and demonstrations and are always available to answer questions or concerns.

“The development process was streamlined, so it went well,” Zak said. “There were a number of attributes customized for our site. It was very helpful that the site had already been researched, focus grouped, and more by the KIPRC team. That helped us feel really confident about the content.”

While the website platform is available to all state or local jurisdictions, Hines said KIPRC recognizes that it may not meet the needs of every jurisdiction. Technical assistance is also available to any jurisdiction that decides to develop its own alternative SUD treatment locator website.

Zak said she hopes KIPRC is able to recruit more jurisdictions to participate.

“It’s an important project,” she said. “It’s a cost-effective way to provide a really important resource for the public and partners in the field trying to assist the public.”  

Hines noted that working with Tennessee has been a great opportunity for Kentucky. In addition to being a collaborative and mutually beneficial partnership, the platform incorporated some changes to search filters and label changes suggested by Tennessee.

“Tennessee, as the first published jurisdiction aside from Kentucky, truly laid essential groundwork for any other jurisdiction that is working to implement FindHelpNow in their area,” Hines said. “All the implementation phases were solidified, and potential technical issues were addressed at the onset to ensure a smooth process for all other jurisdictions adopting FindHelpNow. Tennessee remains an excellent partner and an example for other jurisdictions onboarding.”

Interested jurisdictions can contact the KIPRC team to discuss FindHelpNow and potential implementation at was created by the Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center, which is housed in the University of Kentucky’s College of Public Health and is a bona fide agent for the Kentucky Department for Public Health. The website is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. First launched in Kentucky, it is expanding to additional states and jurisdictions across the United States to allow individuals to utilize this website resource to find timely access to SUD treatment. is funded under cooperative agreement NU17CE924971 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.