In fight against opioids, those battling addiction -- and their families -- have new tool

Updated: Feb. 13, 2018 at 6:56 PM EST
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Sam McNeil succumbed to opioid addiction in 2015. ARC hopes to help people suffering from...
Sam McNeil succumbed to opioid addiction in 2015. ARC hopes to help people suffering from addiction before it's too late. (Source: WOIO)

NORTHEAST OHIO (WOIO) - A national nonprofit dedicated to helping those battling opioid addiction and their families has unveiled a new resource--a website they're calling ARC. It's short for Addiction Resource Center.

The site, which was developed by the Addiction Policy Forum in Washington, D.C., went live last week. It provides an aggregation of resources, treatments, and clinics that can help people struggling with addiction.

In order to make the site work for people who need those resources, the Addiction Policy Forum reached out to local families who have lost loved ones to addiction. Greg McNeil is one of those people. His son, Sam, died of a heroin overdose in October 2015.

Since his son's death, McNeil has founded Cover2, which also helps link families with resources that can help them and educate the wider community about opioid addiction.

His podcast series is more than 100 episodes long. He says he's glad that ARC is available for families like his own, and he says the Addiction Policy Forum has done a lot to reach out and learn.

"They've developed policy, help pull a bunch of different organizations together, many of which had many families, such as ours, that lost people," he said.

When you visit the homepage, the website directs you to a center for families of those with addiction and others suffering from addiction themselves. It can help you develop a treatment plan, access resources that have been properly vetted by professionals, and link up with others who share your concerns and questions.

"As I reflect back on things, I mean to say, and think back on all the resources we might have had at our disposal, and could one of them have made a difference," said McNeil. "You know, I think, this one could have made a difference."

He says if ARC makes the difference for even one family, it'll be worth the time.

"If that happens, then all of the efforts that's put in to the ARC, to develop this, maintain it, and update it, all of that--will have been well worth it."

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