NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Opioid Center of Support, a non-profit 501c3 organization dedicated to fighting the opioid crisis, today launched a free online resource to help the 14.2 million people in the U.S. coping with opioid misuse. Developed with leading medical experts on substance misuse and addiction, the Opioid Center of Support’s platform organizes the most trusted resources on opioid misuse in one place online, for the first time.
Coinciding with National Recovery Month in September, the Opioid Center of Support is also releasing an infographic, downloadable for use here, showing how the opioid epidemic touches more than 213 million people in the U.S. (66 percent).
The Opioid Center of Support was founded by Vera Bullock and Curtis Hougland and is governed by a medical advisory board including leading addiction experts Dr. Mark Gold, Chairman of Rivermend Health’s Scientific Advisory Boards; Dr. Andrew Kolodny, faculty member at Brandeis University; and former Chief Medical Officer for Phoenix House; and Dr. Michael Lesser, executive director of RANE and the former Medical Director for NY City, among others listed here.
“As a mother who lost her son to an opioid overdose, I understand how difficult it is to get credible information on opioids,” said the Opioid Center of Support founder Vera Bullock. “The Opioid Center of Support is our humble attempt to honor my son, and help all of the families and friends across the country devastated by this epidemic. By organizing trusted resources in one place for the first time, we hope to create a more trustworthy online experience for navigating opioid addiction.”
Built in partnership with The Social Good, a technology company that uses machine learning, data science and digital content to create positive social impact, the platform identifies and scores the most actionable evidence-based resources across the Internet through computer algorithms. In building the platform, the team identified, scored, and categorized more than 3,000 existing resources on opioid use as well as more than 850,000,000 expressions in social media. Currently, the online resource features 154 resources including web pages, medical journals, podcasts, mobile applications, videos, and blogs. Sources include 36 percent government (50), 24 percent non-profit (34), 15 percent academic (21), 14 percent commercial (20), and 11 percent news (16), among others. Some lived-experience materials are included as well.
“The Opioid Center of Support was conceived as an antidote to the predatory treatment center ads, dense government sites and scientific jargon dominating search results on opioids,” said Curtis Hougland, co-founder of the Opioid Center of Support and founder of The Social Good. “While the Internet is the first-line of discovery for most people, there is an alarming lack of evidence-based resources that are helpful. More than 50 percent of opioid-related Google results are from organizations that don’t reveal that they are commercial. And, fewer than 8 percent of resources are intended for those impacted by the opioid misuse of a friend of family member despite the strong evidence of the role of community in recovery.”
Continuously updated resources are then organized by each stage from prevention through recovery. Similar to a Pinterest board, users may also upload their own resources to personally customize the site. The platform also contains a data donation function, which asks individuals and caregivers to donate their digital life data for scientific use in order to help model earlier identification and intervention tactics for opioid misuse.
As part of the non-profit mission of the Opioid Center of Support, the team intends to expand the platform to offer greater personalization for visitors based on age, gender, comorbid conditions and other factors.
About The Opioid Center of Support
Vera Bullock founded The Opioid Center of Support to develop solutions to the opioid crisis for caregivers. After her son Justin Solak died from an opioid overdose at the age of 25, Vera set out with a mission to help others suffering with a loved one coping with misuse. Having personally experienced the frustration of trying to find credible resources to help an addict on the Internet, Vera began working to build a single resource that would offer unbiased information, support and direction through all stages of opioid addiction and recovery.
About The Opioid Center of Support Infographic Methodology
The Opioid Center of Support’s infographic illustrates how 4.4 percent of the U.S. population (14,229,600) had an opioid misuse or heroin use disorder in 2016, according to SAMHSA’s National Survey on Drug use and Health. By applying the theory of Dunbar’s number, which states that humans on average have 15 inner circle relationships, The Opioid Center of Support estimates that 213,444,000 people, or 66 percent of people in the United States, had a relationship with someone currently suffering from an opioid or heroin use disorder in 2016.
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