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Cleveland State University creates app to help people find open drug treatment beds instantly

Posted at 9:43 PM, Nov 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-17 10:43:23-05

He deals with the effects of the opioid epidemic every day at work.

"I felt helpless. When this is going on in my own community," said Olmsted Township Police Chief Matthew Vanyo.

Officers like Chief Vanyo had seen so much death and destruction come from addiction; they started the 'Safe Passages' program to get folks into treatment facilities.

"Those suffering from addiction that walk into our brick and mortar police organizations are usually extremely motivated individuals hence walking into the PD," said Chief Vanyo.

But once people finally ask for help, he says it's still a struggle to get them to the right place.

"We were like literally manually calling the facilities, looking them up, marking down who we talked to," said the Chief.

He says it used to take them hours to get these people placed, but now that's all changed.

Patty Stoddard-Dare,a professor at Cleveland State University, helped create the website and app.

"We really are saving lives, I mean its extraordinary, I'm thrilled," said Stoddard-Dare.

A first responder, caseworker, or really anyone can log on and find out who has available treatment beds in real time and if that facility will take your insurance.

"For example, they could say, this is a pregnant female whose on Medicaid, who needs an intensive outpatient program, click a few buttons then they could find available treatment slots now," explained Stoddard-Dare.

The revolutionary app has changed Chief Vanyo's life.

"You click those boxes, and you get a plethora or a myriad of those resources available literally at your fingers tips," he said. "That's unbelievable."

There are over 70 treatment facilities registered on the site, but the folks at Cleveland State are looking for more participants.