NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — People in Connecticut who are struggling with addiction now have a powerful new resource for finding help.

State officials unveiled a “Treatment Atlas” Tuesday morning in Hartford. It is an online resource that directs people to the right kind of treatment and can help families through their darkest times.

“We were lost. What type of treatment did he need? Did he need outpatient or residential?” Gary Mendell said. “We had no idea.”

Mendell’s son was in eight different drug treatment programs in eight years before he took his own life in 2011. The experience led Mendell to found Shatterproof, a grass-roots organization dedicated to ending all barriers to getting help with addiction. Addiction is still taking around 1,400 lives every year in Connecticut.

“By the end of the day today, four more people full of dreams, full of hopes, full of family, friends and people who love them will be lost,” said State Sen. Saud Anwar (D-3rd District), who is also a doctor.

Getting help with addiction is now easier. Unveiled Tuesday was Shatterproof’s Treatment Atlas. It’s a website available to everyone in Connecticut. Answer a series of questions, and you’ll be directed to the treatment that is right for you.

Three hundred Connecticut centers gave information and advice to the developers. Shatterproof emphasizes scientifically proven methods.

“If our treatment programs followed certain protocols all based on science, those with this disease would recover at success rates on par with someone being treated with any other chronic medical condition,” Mendell said.

A medical condition is just what addiction is. Dita Bhargava found that out during her son’s struggle.

“We watched Alec fail several times because treatment centers were not equipped to help him with his disease, his particular needs,” Bhargava said.

Bhargava is a financial executive and former candidate for treasurer. She is now Connecticut’s Shatterproof ambassador, spreading the word that this online resource is now ready to help in Connecticut and 13 other states.

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