WNPR

Digital Project To Help Families Struggling With Addiction Reaches Connecticut

Aug 8, 2018

The Addiction Resource Center (ARC) is an interactive website that provides information about substance use disorders as well as local addiction treatment centers and health care providers. 

The website’s run by The Addiction Policy Forum out of Washington, D. C. and includes resources in 26 states, so far.

Danielle Tarino is the group's vice president of health information technology.

“The first thing it asks you is, ‘Are you concerned about you or a loved one?’ And those answers will guide you to different places,” Tarino said. “There are two self-assessments. Technically they’re programmed off of clinical assessments - one for drug use, one for alcohol use. And you can take that assessment for yourself or for your loved one, and based on the score sort of have a starting point of, ‘How else am I going to use this site? What else do I want to search?”

From there you can search their national treatment database, which they’ve curated through a team of investigators. Tarino said the organization tries to narrow down treatment centers and providers that fit a basic set of criteria before they post them on their site.

“Is this place performing what’s considered to be an ethical treatment marketing practice? And if they’re not, they don’t go on,” Tarino said. “And certainly through open sources and news investigations that have gone on, we can also identify a lot of people that have gotten in trouble. By looking at open licensing boards we can look at who’s lost their license and for what reasons.”

Tarino said out of the 8,600 providers listed on their site they’ve probably called every single one of them.

The Addiction Policy Forum was started by Jessica Hulsey Nickel three years ago. Both Nickel’s parents struggled with heroin addiction.

The organization is a nonprofit committed to prevention, treatment, recovery, and criminal justice reform.