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Uber starts pilot program that will bring back people recovering from opioid addiction to treatment



Uber works with goodwill to offer free rides to Virginians recovering from opioid dependence. On Friday, Goodwill, Uber and Chesterfield County officials announced a small pilot program to help the needy and offer them free treatment trips.

"Opioid treatment costs money, transportation costs money, we want to eliminate any barrier to human treatment," said Sue Medeiros, a spokeswoman for the district mental health department, to NBC12.

NBC reports that the pilot logged in 10 people, four of whom are currently in the process. The decisive factor is that the program does not require a smartphone. Those who run the program estimate that up to 1

0 additional people will sign up each month.

The pilots simply call goodwill, which acts as a kind of "dispatch" and sets up journeys for the person. The drivers have profiles of pre-determined destinations, lift them off and bring them with them for treatments, therapy sessions, pharmacies and other necessary places for free. (A state scholarship funds the program.)

"There is often a very small window when the person is open for treatment – so we have to be ready with everything we have," said Medeiros.

There is no word yet about whether Uber plans to expand the pilot, although its over-health product, which also provides medical services, is already in major US cities. We have chosen for further comments and will update when we hear back.

[NBC]


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