CDHS funds treatment locator in opioid overdose app

OpiRescue appDENVER (Jan. 4, 2019) — The Colorado Department of Human Services, Office of Behavioral Health (OBH) funded an update to the overdose reversal application OpiRescue that connects app users with resources for opioid addiction, including a treatment locator and the ability to make a call to Colorado Crisis Services for access to a counselor or substance use referrals. The updated OpiRescue, which is made by OpiSafe, is available for free in the iOS and Android app stores.

“This update to OpiRescue brings technology into the fight against opioid-related deaths,” said Dr. Robert Werthwein, director of OBH. “The updated app will not only help prevent overdose deaths, it will also help people work toward recovery by accessing treatment and support.”

OpiSafe created OpiRescue in 2015 as part of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Opioid Overdose Prevention Challenge, which asked developers to create an application or tool that helps people understand what to do if a family member or friend overdoses on opioids. OpiRescue helps individuals recognize the signs of opioid overdose and reverse an overdose using naloxone. In 2017, 558 Coloradans died from opioid-related overdoses. 

The app update funded by OBH connects people to medication-assisted treatment (MAT), which pairs non-drug therapies, such as counseling or behavior therapy, with an FDA-approved medication to treat opioid use disorder. Increasing access to MAT is the main goal of federally funded state opioid response grants awarded to OBH in 2017 and 2018 and used to fund the app update.

OpiRescue will maintain an up-to-date treatment provider database, which will ensure Coloradans can find reliable treatment options when services are sought. The treatment locator compiles data from national and local databases maintained by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, SAMHSA, OBH and pharmaceutical manufacturers. 

OpiRescue has more than 10,000 downloads, and Colorado users have reported 592 overdose reversals since the app launched.

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