California Launches New Lifesaving Tools and Resources for Substance Use Disorder Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery

SACRAMENTO — Californians now have a free, confidential way to find lifesaving, high-quality addiction treatment to meet their unique needs. The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) today launched a partnership with national nonprofit Shatterproof and Blue Shield of California to help combat the substance use crisis, keep Californians safe, and provide recovery resources to those in need.

“It is vital that the State of California does all it can to reduce the burden addiction places on families and provide Californians the tools they need to access treatment,” said Dr. Mark Ghaly, Secretary of the California Health & Human Services Agency. “This joint effort follows the release of Governor Newsom’s Master Plan for Tackling the Fentanyl and Opioid Crisis, which outlines aggressive steps to support overdose prevention efforts, hold the opioid pharmaceutical industry accountable, crack down on drug trafficking, and raise awareness about the dangers of opioids, including fentanyl.”

Why This is Important

The new resources include Shatterproof Treatment Atlas, an addiction treatment locator, assessment, and standards platform that will connect individuals to appropriate evidence-based addiction treatment. Additionally, to empower individuals and change attitudes about substance use disorders, DHCS launched Unshame California, a science-driven and content-based campaign that promotes anti-stigma messaging through stories of Californians impacted by substance use disorders. Both Treatment Atlas and Unshame California align with ongoing statewide initiatives to reduce substance use overdoses, support recovery efforts, and educate the public.

“The substance use crisis is a public health threat facing the state and nation. Nearly three million Californians have a substance use disorder, but only a fraction receive treatment,” said DHCS Director Michelle Baass. “Our new partnership will help all Californians find and compare addiction treatment facilities for substance use disorders so they can make informed decisions about their care.”

Resources For Substance Use Disorder Prevention, Treatment Atlas

People with substance use disorders and their loved ones can search Treatment Atlas, the web-based platform developed and managed by Shatterproof, based on such criteria as location, use of best practices, types of treatment offered, accepted insurers (including commercial and government sponsored coverage), payment options, specialty populations served, and patient experiences. Shatterproof, a national nonprofit dedicated to reversing the addiction crisis in America, helps people find high-quality treatment, including outpatient, intensive outpatient, residential, and hospital inpatient addiction treatment, for substance use disorders. Treatment Atlas is informed and endorsed by the American Society of Addiction Medicine.

People can assess their risk and severity, which allows them to receive initial guidance on which addiction treatment options might be best for them. Treatment Atlas improves upon services provided by other addiction treatment locators and uses objective data, strict validation protocols, and patient reporting to focus on what is best for the consumer, not the bottom line.

“DHCS will work with key collaborators throughout the state to implement Treatment Atlas in a way that’s responsive to the state’s needs,” said Tyler Sadwith, Deputy Director of DHCS Behavioral Health. “DHCS will also engage with key stakeholders in the state, collect and analyze data from the platform, and ensure the platform is maintained with up-to-date information.”

Unshame California

This multi-pronged campaign shines a light on the stories of people impacted by a substance use disorder because no one should struggle alone. By telling and listening to people’s lived experiences, one recognizes that substance use disorders can impact anyone, including neighbors, friends, family members, and coworkers. The campaign is informed by community members and aims to ensure representation and engagement are reflective of California’s extraordinary diversity. Stories will be shared continuously on social media channels in both English and Spanish. Unshame California will offer monthly webinars with information, resources, and/or training related to, or promoting, addiction stigma reduction.

Big Picture

Governor Gavin Newsom has dedicated more than $1 billion in funding to fight the opioid crisis by removing opioids from the streets; providing resources to communities in need; reducing individual and community stigma surrounding people who use drugs and who seek care and treatment services; and increasing education and awareness to prevent opioid addiction and death. Of the state’s overall investment, DHCS is investing more than $450 million in various opioid prevention and treatment grant activities in fiscal year 2022-23.