SARASOTA, Fla. – More than 1,000 people each day overdose on opioids, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
The National Survey on Drug Use and Health found more than 21 million Americans battled a substance use disorder in one year.
This week, the president officially acknowledged the opioid crisis in the U.S., but when it comes to treatment and recovery, finding the right help can be difficult.
Chances are you've used a search engine like Yelp! to see reviews of a business or looked up recommendations for a service on a site like Angie's List, but what if an addict looking for treatment or a loved one of an addict searching for a way to get help had a similar option?
A company in Sarasota believes they have the solution and claim its the first of its kind.
It's called Recovery Guidance.
“My family is like every other family in America, we have been touched by addiction," said the company's CEO Leslie Glass.
"While my family has found recovery, not all families do, and the situation of trying to find help is far worse now.”
Whether someone is looking for rehabilitation, a hospital, physician, counselor or psychiatrist, Glass says they will be able to find it through the new comprehensive site.
Like Yelp!, users can log on from anywhere in the county to find resources and read and write reviews. To date, there has been no such similar site for the recovery community, Glass said, but this "fills that bill."
"The epidemic of addiction has gotten so prevalent and has decimated and destroyed so many communities that it cannot be ignored anymore," she said.
“So (users) will have access to providers and they’ll have the ability to review them so that when people come and look for help they’ll be able to see what kind of care people have experienced.”
The site is free to use. Providers pay a subscriber fee to have a profile. Nearly 40,000 providers are already on the site, Glass said.
Glass applauded President Trump's acknowledgment of the crisis this week.
“It legitimizes it, it puts it on the map, it makes it a national priority," she said. "It has not, until now, been a priority… but as soon as an issue becomes a national priority then solutions can be found.”
However, while the president acknowledged the issue on Thursday by calling it an emergency, his administration has not yet formally declared one.
A formal presidential declaration — when coupled with a public health emergency declared by the Secretary of Health and Human Services — would give the administration additional powers to waive health regulations, pay for treatment programs, and make overdose-reversing drugs more widely available.
A presidential proclamation could also trigger some very specific tools for federal and state governments. Here's what could happen.
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