Wisconsin Addiction Recovery Helpline is powered by United Way’s 2-1-1

Thursday, November 8, 2018

WI Addiction

From your friends at United Way Fox Cities

The road to recovery can be complex. United Way's 2-1-1 is making navigating the journey a bit easier. Staff at 2-1-1 are now specially trained to receive calls from people seeking referrals to alcohol and drug use disorder services through the Wisconsin Addiction Recovery Helpline.

The newly developed Wisconsin Addiction Recovery Helpline is a statewide free, confidential service that is available 24 hours a day by dialing 2-1-1. Callers will be connected with local treatment and recovery resources. The service is supported by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) and managed by 2-1-1 Wisconsin.

The following information about the recovery helpline was transcribed and edited from a recent interview with Lisa Smith, 2-1-1 Manager, on WHBY’s AM Fox Valley with hosts Dave and Carol.You can listen to the full interview online.

Carol: One of the things you are doing is responding to mental health issues and addiction issues.

Lisa: Exactly. Over the years, we’ve been keeping very good data on what people are calling 2-1-1 about. In most communities in Wisconsin, the number one reason they are calling us is housing. But, over the past few years, especially in the Fox Cities, we’ve seen mental health creep up to number two. Of those mental health calls, nearly 70 percent were addiction-related last year. This year, we are seeing it getting close to that again.

Dave: Isn’t that interesting? Because you might think we are not as prone to that as big cities.

Lisa: Yes we are. You’d be surprised. It is a rural issue too. It is not unusual for a parent to call looking for help for an adult child.

Carol: When people call 2-1-1, what kind of addiction recovery information can they get?

Lisa: We’ve done a lot of training for our 2-1-1 staff in Menasha. In fact, we have trained more than 40 hours around specific Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (AODA) questions to ask and things to listen for. We are working hard to connect people with local peer specialists and recovery coaches; in many cases, these folks have lived-experiences with addiction and can be very helpful to the caller.

If you or someone your know needs help with an addiction, please call 2-1-1.