New database makes it easier to find addiction treatment in Connecticut

August 11, 2018

A website that makes it easier to find addiction treatment has come to Connecticut, and Ada Haines, state chapter chair of the national nonprofit that created it, hopes it’s just one step toward curbing overdose deaths here.

On Addiction Resource Center, a product of Addiction Policy Forum, users can choose their county and then select the options that fit their needs. Looking for an addiction psychiatrist? Head to Norwich Psychiatric Center. Want to use Medicaid to pay for your methadone? Hartford Dispensary’s New London and Norwich locations have you covered.

Addiction Resource Center, or ARC, launched about the beginning of the year and lists about 800 providers, digital content and web manager Theresa Bibeau said. The goal is to add providers through the year and eventually cover each state and Washington, D.C.

Bibeau, who lived in Newtown for 25 years and now works in D.C., said the nonprofit calls each place to ensure it’s legitimate.

“There are a lot of providers out there that market themselves as being the solution when they’re not,” said Bibeau, whose childhood friend has been using heroin on and off for two years. “We researched all of these and only included the ones that met our standards in terms of what they offer.”

Overdoses killed 1,038 people in Connecticut in 2017, state Chief Medical Examiner Dr. James Gill has said.

The cause also is personal for Lebanon resident Haines, whose son, incarcerated right now, turned from using prescription drugs to heroin.

She began calling pharmaceutical companies and emailing politicians when she saw what was happening to him, she said. From there she joined Shatterproof, another national nonprofit dedicated to helping those with substance use disorders, and last fall learned about Addiction Policy Forum.

Haines recently became chair of the Connecticut chapter and plans, in addition to directing people to the new website, to host forums and panels, raise funds for organizations in need and change the way people think about addiction.

“Even though people are getting more and more comfortable as far as saying in obituaries, ‘After years of addiction to opiates, my son lost his life,’ ... it’s still not enough,” she said. Addiction “is all over. It’s doctors. It’s the police. It’s not only the general public. Yet we still have a stigma, especially with heroin.”

Those who visit bit.ly/addictionRC can take an assessment to see whether they’re struggling with addiction, or build an action plan to help someone else who is. The site also includes information about the science behind addiction and a resource line staffed by addiction counselors, licensed social workers and peer recovery support advocates.

Connecticut residents can call the line at 1 (833) 301-HELP (4357) from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

“Connecticut sees an overwhelming amount of people struggling with substance use disorder, and many of these cases result in death,” Haines said. “I am hopeful that the ARC database will be able to provide more Connecticut residents with the resources they need to get help so we can save more lives.”