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Illinois opioid helpline gets five thousand calls in eight months

SPRINGFIELD (Illinois News Network) – A lot of people in Illinois are calling the state’s new opioid hotline for help.

The Illinois Department of Human services says five thousand people have called the opioid helpline for help since they first started taking calls back in December.

DHS’ Danielle Kirby said most of the people who’ve called are either addicts of family members of addicts.

They can get answers about about their needs, and she said they’ll now be able to get a follow-up call.

“That call allow the helpline to check if they were able to access for treatment,” Kirby explained.  “The follow-up call will allow the helpline to better connect people to that service. Or maybe try a different provider if it didn’t work out where they started.”

Kirby said that’s a delicate balance of connecting people who want help with those who can provide help.

“Now the helpline staff are able to call the provider along with the caller, so that they can kind of meet over the phone, and feel more comfortable when they go,” Kirby said.

DHS says Chicago, Springfield, and Rockford lead the list of cities with the most callers.  But the department says that’s not a complete list because callers are not required to say where they are from.

If you or someone you know needs help, DHS says you can call the helpline at 833-2-FIND HELP.