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South Dakota to Test Telehealth for Drug Treatment

August 4, 2014
by Gabriel Perna
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In the rural state of South Dakota, drug treatment may get the telehealth touch as the U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance gave the state a $100,000 grant to startup an initiative that utilizes the technology.

According to the Centre Daily Times, the state of South Dakota has had trouble giving drug and alcohol abusers in rural areas the proper care they need because many of the treatment centers are located far away. Judges have been forced to send these people to jail, rather than give them treatment, because of this reality.

The state has used telehealth in the past for psychiatric care and envisions that drug and alcohol treatment will be done similarly. It has awarded two nonprofit providers, Lutheran Social Services and Volunteers of America, to serve rural drug abuse patients through telehealth treatment. The Department of Social Services within the state will figure out how to use the providers can use money.

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