Attorney General Moody touts new addiction resource website to combat Florida opioid crisis

Attorney General Ashley Moody on Thursday boosted a website geared toward helping people access resources to fight opioid addiction, saying the site will allow individuals to have recovery assistance available when they need it.

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The Addiction Treatment Locator, Assessment and Standards platform, or ATLAS, is an online platform created by Shatterproof, a nonprofit organization founded and led by Gary Mendell. The ATLAS website was rolled out in collaboration with Florida Blue, the state’s largest health insurer.

In a press release issued Thursday, Florida Blue called the site a “free, confidential” way to find addiction-assistance resources. The site helps people struggling with addiction and their families, health care providers and insurers find and compare licensed treatment facilities.

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The launch comes as state leaders have ramped up efforts to address opioid addiction amid an upward trend of fatal opioid overdoses in Florida, with a particular focus on combating use of the potent synthetic opioid fentanyl. Moody, accompanied by leaders of local nonprofits and other organizations, helped kick off National Recovery Month at a press conference in Tampa on Thursday.

The attorney general hailed the new website.

“You need to have a resource in place, so that when they are ready to get help there is a place they can go and get help as soon as possible. We know that we have to take advantage of those moments when that person is ready to get help,” Moody said.

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More than 8,000 Floridians have died of drug overdoses in the past year, with the majority caused by opioids, according to the press release. Mendell, whose son took his own life after grappling with opioid addiction for years, said the site will help families like his who struggled to find help when his son needed treatment.

“It was impossible to know who to trust,” he said in the release. “ATLAS is a sea change in the addiction world. It will give those in need and their families the transparent and trustworthy information my family never had and will help put more people on the path to recovery.”

The ATLAS website has information about treatment services in Florida and nine other states.