The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) and the United Way of Wisconsin announced today that 5,594 people contacted The Wisconsin Addiction Recovery Helpline during its first year of operation. This free and confidential service is managed by 211 Wisconsin under a contract with DHS. It connects individuals seeking help for challenges with alcohol, cocaine, heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine, prescription painkillers, and other drugs for themselves or a loved one to services in their community.
“Too often people delay seeking treatment for a substance use challenge simply because they don’t know where to begin,” said DHS Secretary-designee Andrea Palm. “The Wisconsin Addiction Recovery Helpline is a good first step toward treatment and recovery.”
The Wisconsin Addiction Recovery Helpline is available statewide 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call 211 or 833-944-4673. People who may not be comfortable speaking directly to an operator can text their ZIP code to 898211 or use the live chat option at addictionhelpwi.org.
“Our operators are trained to listen to the needs of the caller and help them understand what services and supports may best address their situation,” says Charlene Mouille, executive director for the United Way of Wisconsin, the agency that oversees 211 Wisconsin. “We can also help callers find the best option for their financial situation. Concerns over ability to pay should not prevent anyone from seeking help.”
Operators facilitated 11,940 referrals in the first year, with assessment, detoxification, and residential treatment services the most referred resources. People can call the helpline more than once, and can be referred to more than one service.
The Wisconsin Addiction Recovery Helpline database includes information on 2,311 agencies in Wisconsin offering 5,357 different addiction treatment and recovery programs, including crisis services, detoxification services, assessment, counseling, day treatment, inpatient services, medication-assisted treatment, residential treatment, outpatient services, and peer supports. Operators also have access to 211 Wisconsin’s database of thousands of community resources to help the caller address other health, social, and financial needs.
The Wisconsin Addiction Recovery Helpline began taking calls October 22, 2018.