WellScreen™, Inc. and the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP) announced their partnership today, an alliance that has the potential of saving countless lives. As the number of Americans suffering from substance abuse disorders skyrockets to over twenty million, leaders in the field of substance abuse prevention and treatment for addiction are aligning to join forces, determined to stop the epidemic by connecting those ready for treatment with reputable providers.
NAATP joins the WellScreen team, which includes Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and an experienced staff of professionals in the field of substance abuse, prevention, public health and cloud-based health technologies. The mission of WellScreen™ is to promote well-being and improve lives by implementing lifesaving technology into communities to identify those in need of treatment in order to get them the help they need.
"Finding an appropriate treatment provider is essential for recovery," said Former White House Drug Policy Advisor and National Substance Abuse Expert Keri-Lyn Coleman, Founder of WellScreen. "The partnership with NAATP enhances the WellScreen system by ensuring that clients who are ready to enter treatment are connected with reputable treatment providers who can meet the client's needs."
Left to find treatment options on their own, most turn to the internet to find solutions. Unfortunately, numerous illegitimate treatment centers work to scam those seeking help and ill equipped facilities unable to meet each person's unique needs can result in tragic outcomes. For the most part, the medical community does not have resources on hand to refer patients to treatment for substance abuse.
"Many primary care physicians do not have information about treatment providers in their area and do not make recommendations," added Coleman. "This partnership will solve that problem by ensuring that anyone using the tool can be connected with available resources that have been vetted and match their needs."
Coleman developed WellScreen's SBIRT protocol, "Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment," a program that identifies individuals with substance use disorders and those who have the potential to become dependent using an evidence-based assessment process. Education and appropriate intervention, including referral to treatment, is immediately available.
WellScreen's partnership with NAATP links SBIRT to a national database of over 2,000 licensed and accredited providers in the United States that serve both adults and adolescents. NAATP is a nonprofit professional society of top treatment providers throughout the continuum of care and offer support by providing clinical and operational resources as well as law and policy advocacy.
"It is imperative that we provide the consumer, the payer, and our professional colleagues with substantive and transparent information regarding the selection of addiction treatment," said Marvin Ventrell, Executive Director of NAATP. "This partnership and this program deliver that information in a marketplace where it is sorely lacking. Marketing gimmicks and simplistic, misleading rating systems do not fit the bill. This is the right approach."
Providers in Florida have already adopted the SBIRT system and are experiencing great success in early intervention in area hospitals, urgent care facilities, primary care physician offices, pharmacies, health clinics on college campuses, justice programs, schools and child welfare systems.
SBIRT's public health strategy can be used in a variety of community and healthcare settings to screen, identify, and appropriately intervene with individuals who are at risk for substance use dependence. With the addition of the NAATP database, individuals can be connected with the most effective treatment providers for them.
Several unique features have been included to insure the partnership is effective. An essential aspect of the program is the substance misuse disorder treatment locator, which filters available treatment providers to meet the client's needs. At risk individuals can be matched with the appropriate treatment resources based on individual characteristics, location, payment method and treatment need. There is also no fee or incentive for treatment referrals, which eliminates the conflict of interest that is pervasive among available treatment finders.
"In 2017 alone, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 18.2 million Americans needed, but did not receive, specialty substance use treatment," said Coleman. "Many of these individuals did not know where to go for treatment or did not find a treatment program that offered the desired type of treatment. WellScreen's partnership with NAATP seeks to solve this problem for those in need."