Wisconsin just launched its own addiction recovery hotline. It's called the Wisconsin Addiction Recovery Helpline. And it comes courtesy of a $400,000 grant from the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Of course, SAMHSA has its own addiction recovery hotline. It's name is the National Helpline. And like Wisconsin's Addiction Recovery Helpline, it's a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.
Unlike the so-called helplines frequently seen on TV however, these substance abuse helplines are legit. There are no fake doctors feigning empathy. And there are no fake addicts feigning addiction. Better still, neither recovery hotline cares whether or not you've got insurance either. Why? Because both helplines are there simply to help.
And help they do too. Wisconsin's database includes 1,900 agencies that offer 4,700 services, such as detoxification services, assessment, counseling, day treatment, inpatient services, outpatient services, medication-assisted treatment, residential treatment and peer supports. The state also plans to launch a complimentary website and text service later this year.
SAMHSA's National Helpline also provides all that -- and more. And it does so in numbers that are alarming. In fact, SAMHSA's National Helpline received an average of 68,683 calls per month during just the first quarter of 2018. That's an increase from 2017's average monthly call volume of 67,949 or 815,390 total calls for the year.
That puts SAMHSA's National Helpline on course to receive a million calls this year. Think about it. One million Americans reaching out for substance abuse help. In just 365 days. Certainly reason enough for each state to follow Wisconsin's lead.
Addiction Recovery Hotline: State-by-State
Recovery Boot Camp, Healing Properties and the Schnellenberger Family Foundation applaud Wisconsin's initiative. And we call on each state to establish their own addiction recovery hotlines. Because even a hotline as helpful as SAMHSA's can't possibly handle a million calls a year. Not with any targeted degree anyway.
Wisconsin's "database can get addicts the resources they need at a time they need them most," said Paul Krupski, director of Opioid Initiatives with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. "When they are realizing at that point in time 'I need help' and they reach out." And if each state were to have its own addiction recovery hotline, that kind of immediate help would be more readily available everywhere.
SAMHSA Addiction Recovery Resources
Nevertheless, SAMHSA is crucial, not just for their National Helpline, but for everything the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services organization provides. That includes lots and lots of invaluable resources.
Among the addiction recovery resources provided by SAMHSA are:
- What Is Substance Abuse Treatment? A Booklet for Families: Created for family members of people with alcohol abuse or drug abuse problems.
- Alcohol and Drug Addiction Happens in the Best of Families: Describes how alcohol and drug addiction affect the whole family.
- It's Not Your Fault: Assures teens with parents who abuse alcohol or drugs that, "It's not your fault!" and that they are not alone.
- It Feels So Bad: It Doesn't Have To: Provides information about alcohol and drug addiction to children whose parents or friends' parents might have substance abuse problems.
- After an Attempt: A Guide for Taking Care of Your Family Member After Treatment in the Emergency Department: Aids family members in coping with the aftermath of a relative's suicide attempt.
- Family Therapy Can Help: For People in Recovery From Mental Illness or Addiction: Explores the role of family therapy in recovery from mental illness or substance abuse.
Addiction Recovery Hotline Numbers
The Wisconsin Addiction Recovery Helpline can be accessed by dialing 211 or 833-944-4673. Again, it's free, confidential and can be accessed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year across the state. SAMHSA's National Helpline can be accessed by dialing 1-800-662-HELP (4357). It's also free, confidential and available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, from anywhere in the country.