Currently, people struggling with opioid dependency (and their families) are overwhelmed, frustrated, and burdened with the lengthy process of finding help during critical times. When an immediate solution or connection is not found, the opioid-dependent user is more likely to relapse. This relapse often leads to overdose1 or in some cases overdose death as the individual’s body may receive a jolt of a drug after a short period of abstinence. Exit Opioids Corporation is a non-profit organization that was established in 2019 in Cary, North Carolina. It was created to quickly connect opioid-dependent users to treatment centers, services, and resources to help eliminate their drug dependency. This non-profit was established to reduce the gap that many programs have with addressing the opioid crisis and the lack of user-level awareness that exists. An abundance of help resources exists, but these resources are not always accessible by the users in a timely fashion - at a critical time, to enable an immediate connection with the facilities. The direct link to treatment centers, services, and resources are expected to reduce opioid overdose and overdose death by connecting the opioid-dependent users to the help they need within minutes.
Exit Opioids’ primary mission is to provide a national website for directly connecting opioid-dependent users with the necessary means to eliminate their addiction and improve their health and well-being. This mission is reinforced by elevating education surrounding the user and supporting the delivery of resources where necessary.
Our vision is to connect the user with available resources based on their personal and financial situation. The user may want help when in the crisis, and the convenience of the website will alleviate the frustration in finding the required information to direct them in their journey for success.
To fulfill this vision, Exit Opioids will create a national website of treatment centers, services, and resources available to an opioid-dependent user that are easily searchable and can provide services that match the user’s need within minutes. Our website will be a dedicated central portal of easy to find help, based on need, preferences, location and ability to pay. The user can ensure that when they select the essential content, he or she will have a manageable list of facilities that meet their needs rather than hundreds or thousands. The expected competition for Exit Opioids would be existing substance abuse search engines. The advantage of Exit Opioids is the user experience design approach, ease of use, and detail level of data on each center that removes the frustration experienced by the users when searching results. The other benefit to Exit Opioids is understanding users’ needs and using language and content that will not create stigma, discomfort, or judgment. Exit Opioids does not offer treatment: we are the connecting engine for providers and treatment facilities. We aim to pinpoint access to the available treatment centers, services, and resources nationally. We will begin with a pilot in Wake County, North Carolina then expand from there to a state level.
Secondarily, Exit Opioids will seek to reduce the burn-out of counselors, centers, and social workers by streamlining and minimizing redundancy of researching the location users should go to for treatment. For treatment centers, service, and resource providers, our website provides the following:
- Increased awareness of their services.
- Direct connection to the target population they intend to serve.
In addition to our resource website, we will explore additional opportunities to facilitate finding treatment facility vacancies, appointment availability, group therapy, and self-help services. Exit Opioids also aims to partner with non-profit organizations and philanthropic efforts that increase awareness and education in communities.
The resource website for the drug users and their family to find appropriate facilities within minutes will be financed from grants, fundraisers, donations, partnerships, and sponsorships. Exit Opioids has no plans to apply for business loans to fund the organization.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 130 people die each day from an opioid overdose. Hundreds of thousands of centers, services, and resources exist to help an opioid-dependent user, yet they fail to connect at the user-level. When a user is in crisis and seeking help, the user does not typically search for the National Institute on Drug Abuse for a state-by-state link to centers or show up at a hospital to pick-up an educational pamphlet. They ask friends and family for recommendations and perform an online search. The goal of Exit Opioids is to meet users where they are by reducing the lag time required to seek help and avoid relapse and potential death. Active dependent users have a brief window of time between determining that they want help and receiving support before they relapse. Exit Opioids will provide the user with direct access to the centers and services the user needs within minutes.
Exit Opioids was established as a 501(c)(3) non-profit entity as the company provides connection to health services for the vulnerable population (drug users); while working directly with health services and institutions based on current scientific trends and charitable efforts.
- Jones, personal communication, May 17, 2018