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A Multidisciplinary Approach Improves Access to Lifesaving Treatment

CSU Department of Criminology and Sociology teams with the School of Social Work, and School of Engineering to build efficiencies and improve community access.

In 2016 there was only one inpatient treatment bed available for every 52 people addicted to heroin in Cuyahoga County, according to data provided by the Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) Board of Cuyahoga County. That same year, a team of professors and students from various disciplines within Cleveland State University developed a Web application that has improved access to drug treatment services, reduce wait times and better ensure that individuals get the help they need.

The collaborative effort sought to address grassroots calls for a user-friendly tool to make open treatment slots in our community publicly available daily.  The app is fully searchable, allowing treatment providers, first responders, and individuals seeking treatment to find available services that match their needs at the click of a button. allows substance abuse treatment agencies to log the services they provide and quickly and easily update their available treatment slots and the length of their daily waitlist.

Team leaders Dr. Miyuki Tedor, professor of criminology and sociology, and Dr. Patricia Stoddard Dare, professor of social work and coordinator of CSU’s Chemical Dependency Counseling Certificate program, met with over 100 community stakeholders over the course of a year to develop the specifications for the app. The technical specifications were then designed by two CSU software development engineering students under the mentorship of CSU Computer Science Professor Dr. Wenbing Zhao.

“This app can make the service delivery system significantly more efficient,” notes Stoddard Dare. “If agencies devote 1-2 hours for the initial one-time setup and less than 2 minutes per day to update their available treatment slots, I would expect them to receive hours of time-savings each week. The time that social workers were spending on the phone trying to find aftercare for their clients, they can now spend directly on counseling.”

More than 100 treatment provider agencies have registered 500 different types of services provided in our community such as assessment, outpatient treatment, intensive outpatient treatment, sober living, harm reduction, and peer and family support. The effort is made possible thanks to an initial grant from the Woodruff Foundation and ongoing support from the Data to Action: Linkage to Care grant by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The multidisciplinary team continues to enhance and add features to the website with the help of professors Wenbing Zhao, Sathish Kumar, and Anne Berry. Over time, more than 60 CSU students from various disciplines have contributed to the work. Substance abuse treatment agencies interested in registering their services can contact