INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- A new interactive system that connects drug users with treatment facilities was announced today. The goal of the database is to make the process easier for drug users in desperate need of care.
Carolyn Kaflik is seven years sober, but remembers the struggles she faced to find a treatment facility.
"It was very challenging for several years," she said.
Kaflik was addicted to heroin and cocaine. When she made the decision to finally get help, her options were limited.
"You just had to call and see if they had a bed available at a time. It was challenging because there were waiting lists," explained Kaflik.
Her problem isn't unique. State leaders and health professionals realized it was time to make the daunting process to get help a little bit easier.
On Thursday, The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA), along with Indiana 211 introduced a partnership to help streamline the search for treatment.
"We need to have a command center for a global and real time assessment for individuals in their time of greatest need," said FSSA Secretary Dr. Jennifer Walthall.
The new program is called OpenBeds. It provides real-time data that shows open beds at facilities that cater to a specific users needs. It's funded through the 21st Century Cures dollars.
Someone who is addicted to drugs can call 211, connect with a case worker, or visit an emergency room to be introduced to the interactive system. A specialist enters specific needs such as location, insurance, and type of drug addiction. The specialist can then see in real-time if there are any open beds. The user would be placed on a waiting list or be accepted into the treatment program.
The goal is to get a drug user into a treatment program as quickly as possible, as time can be the difference between life and death.
"When somebody wants help, that’s probably the most critical moment right there. It takes a lot of guts to step out and say 'hey I need help,' so it’s a very critical moment," Kaflik said.
For more information on OpenBeds, click here.