CHICAGO — The state of Illinois is launching an all-hours helpline to provide assistance to those impacted by opioid addiction.
Gov. Bruce Rauner and members of the state's Opioid Overdose Prevention and Intervention Task Force announced the creation of the phone line on Tuesday. State officials said anyone affected by opioid addiction can call for confidential assistance. The helpline has trained specialists who can connect callers with treatment and recovery-support services.
The statewide helpline — 833-2FINDHELP — is funded through a federal grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
The helpline was welcomed by health advocates involved in two countywide opioid reduction efforts in Central Illinois.
"It's so important that people who are dealing with an opioid use disorder to connect with support opportunities and treatment resources," said Angela Stoltzenburg, director of the Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital Community Health Collaborative in Logan County.
"Creating a 24/7 hotline is a great step toward improving access for those seeking help, whether it be the person battling the disease of addiction or their loved ones," Stoltzenburg said.
Lisa Slater of the McLean County Health Department, which is working with community partners on a multifaceted approach to address the opioid epidemic, said "the 24/7 helpline Gov. Rauner has launched provides another tool that can be used to combat opioid abuse and addiction. It should make it easier for individuals to reach out during their time of need and access treatment and support options."
Rauner said the goal is to combat drug overdose. State data shows that nearly 1,950 people died from opioid overdose last year in Illinois. Rauner signed an executive order earlier this year creating the state opioid task force.