The American Medical Association says Wisconsin, like other states, does not have enough treatment available to support every individual that struggles with drug or alcohol addiction.
But a new statewide addiction hotline seeks to help those struggling with addiction find resources in their area that can give them immediate assistance if needed.
As of Monday the Wisconsin Addiction Recovery Helpline is open for business and they’re working with specialists around the state to make sure anyone can get help when they need it.
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services haven’t released the number of deaths due to opioids from 2017, but the numbers from 2016 are telling.
827 people died from painkillers, heroin and synthetic opioids.
Having a statewide hotline could help those numbers shrink.
“I think that it is a great addition to resources in the state,” Larry Connors with the Green Bay Jackie Nitscke Center for Addiction Recovery. “I think it will help because it will give people one point of contact or they can find out what’s available in their local region or just an opportunity to ask questions about something that they may not know what’s happening or what to do about.”
The Wisconsin Addiction Recovery Helpline could serve as a road map to help individuals struggling with addiction pinpoint where to find help.
“There are many people who seek treatment and are not able to receive that for a variety of reasons one of which is access to more facilities and financial barriers,” says Connors.
The helpline’s database includes information on 1,900 Wisconsin agencies offering 4,700 different services.
It includes a special line for doctors who want more info on how to treat their patients.
“Like many diseases one doctor can’t know everything about every disease there is,” says Connors. “So having additional support for physicians it’s actually in the best interest of the patients, clients, families and the physicians themselves.”
The state is also working on providing a website and text service.
Because with more resources more lives can be saved.
The statewide addiction hotline number is 211.
The addiction hotline was paid for using a $400,000 grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.