Beginning July 21, Louisianans can seek high-quality, appropriate alcohol or drug addiction treatment with the assistance of ATLAS: the Addiction Treatment Locator, Assessment and Standards online platform launching with the assistance of the Louisiana Department of Health’s Office of Behavioral Health.
“ATLAS provides families with standardized information on the quality of treatment facilities, helping you to find the facility that is best for you or your loved one,” said Karen Stubbs, Assistant Secretary of the Office of Behavioral Health. “There’s no searching in the dark for information, no throwing darts to choose a facility. The information you need to make an informed choice is all in one place.”
Another feature of ATLAS is its Addiction Treatment Needs Assessment tool, which suggests a level of care for an individual’s personal needs. Broad levels of care designated by the American Society of Addiction Medicine include inpatient, residential, intensive outpatient and outpatient.
Louisiana is one of six pilot states to partner with Shatterproof, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to ending addiction, to develop and launch ATLAS. Louisiana’s participation in the ATLAS pilot was one of several steps the State has taken to address the opioid epidemic, including:
- Passing legislation to limit first-time opioid prescriptions for acute pain and mandate provider reporting to the Prescription Monitoring Program,
- Implementing a standing order for naloxone to allow pharmacists to dispense without a prescription,
- Increasing provider education on evidence-based best practices for prescribing of opioids and appropriate treatment of chronic pain, and
- The Louisiana State Opioid Response (LaSOR), a program enhancing existing statewide prevention, treatment and recovery support services for individuals with or at risk for opioid use disorder.
“We expect ATLAS to be another excellent tool in our efforts to combat the opioid epidemic. In Louisiana, fatal opioid overdoses have risen from 259 in 2014 to 470 in 2018. These numbers show that families can use all the help they can find,” Stubbs said.
Additionally, ATLAS will:
- Measure alcohol and drug treatment facilities’ use of best practices through a combination of validated data sources,
- Provide data to these facilities about services offered to help them improve care, and
- Enable treatment facilities submitting data to benchmark themselves against their peers and to design data-driven quality improvement initiatives.
While most alcohol and drug treatment facilities across Louisiana are listed on ATLAS, 33% voluntarily reported on their services and practices. ATLAS also includes feedback from patients once a minimum threshold of 20 responses per facility is met. This data updates every 24 hours.
ATLAS initially will be available to the pilot states before expanding nationwide. The platform goes live on July 21 at http://treatmentatlas.org.