Floridians battling addiction can find personalized options with TreatmentATLAS

A new online tool just expanded to Florida aimed at providing personalized recovery options for those battling addiction. It could be the lifeline people need with finding the right treatment fit being a confusing and frustrating process. 

Jackey Bell and her sister Cami were best friends. After a crash with a drunk driver, Cami was prescribed painkillers, which sparked years of drug addiction. Bell also struggled with addiction. 

"We tried to get help together," Bell said. "We went to several places. We went to hospitals. We picked up the white pages. We called our friends."

In 2018, Cami died from a fentanyl overdose. 

Finding help should've been easier, and that's the idea behind TreatmentATLAS.org.

Gary Mendell lost his own son Brian to suicide, following years of addiction. He founded the nonprofit Shatterproof which created ATLAS.

"We had no way to understand the system," Mendell said. "ATLAS does a few things to remedy what I went through as a father and what many in this room went through as a father, and what millions of people go through every day looking for truth."

First, the website has you take a 13-question assessment. Answers are confidential, and the service is free.

READ: Florida drug czar tours Tampa General's care command center aimed at stopping drug addiction

MORE: Law enforcement officials worry 'rainbow fentanyl' could be targeting children

Then, you get personal guidance on the treatment you need and where to get it, taking into account the substances being used, other medical conditions, severity and risks or obstacles that could hinder treatment.

"Are you self-pay? Are you insured? Do you need help?" Attorney General Ashley Moody explained. "How do you match that with the level of care and have that associated to where you are presently living?"

The website allows you to compare facilities based on things like location, insurance, or services offered.

"They deserve to have the process of finding a program that is right for their loved one both demystified and destigmatized," said Jennifer Webb, executive director of Live Tampa Bay.

MORE: Law enforcement officials worry 'rainbow fentanyl' could be targeting children

ATLAS also gathers anonymous feedback from patients on their experiences at facilities to help others make informed decisions.

"It was as though I was on a merry-go-round trying to find a facility for my daughter," said Al Kinkle, whose daughter died from a 20-year opiate addiction. "We can recover, but we need places to go."

Florida Blue, the state’s largest insurer, provided funding to bring the website to Floridians.

Losing her sister sent Jackey toward recovery. Something like ATLAS, she believes, could've changed both of their stories sooner.

"I want to go to a place that I have the best chance of succeeding," Bell said. "That would have changed my life. It would have probably saved her."