Minnesota to Develop Online Tool to Help in Opioid Crisis

Lead admissions counselor Carolyn Martin talks on the telephone Wednesday, July 19, at St. Cloud Hospital Recovery Plus. Photo: Dave Schwarz/St. Cloud Times via AP
Lead admissions counselor Carolyn Martin talks on the telephone Wednesday, July 19, at St. Cloud Hospital Recovery Plus.

August 13, 2017 10:54 AM

Minnesota officials are partnering with a search service to make information about addiction treatment openings available in real time to help fight the opioid epidemic.

The Minnesota Department of Human Services is working with Fast Tracker to make it easier for the public and medical professionals to find open spots in treatments, the St. Cloud Times reported. Fast Tracker is a website that provides information regarding mental health resources in the state. Adding addiction treatment to the site will make it the first service that's open to the public, searchable and has real-time information on open spots in treatments across the state

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"This is another step forward to really making sure that the system of care for addiction is really more modern and more consumer focused," Claire Wilson, the assistant human services commissioner at the department, said.

Wilson said it could take at least two years for the website's database to be created.

"It's a major transformation of the addiction treatment system," she said.

The department said it will reach out to treatment providers and continue to update the database through early next year. The department anticipates starting a marketing campaign to inform the public and medical providers about the new resource later next year.

Lt. Gov. Tina Smith said more than 500 Minnesota residents died from an opioid overdose in 2015, which is a 600 percent increase in deaths since 2000.

"These Minnesotans were our friends, our neighbors, and our family members," she said." We won't forget them — our administration is committed to tackling this epidemic."

Credits

AP

(Copyright 2017 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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