'You have to be able to reach out:' New hotline aimed at combating opioid crisis in Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE -- The opioid epidemic is crippling families nationwide -- and also hitting hard here in Wisconsin. There's a new addiction recovery hotline helping combat the opioid crisis in Milwaukee -- aimed at preventing overdoses and saving lives.

"The need has never been more important," said John Hyatt, president and CEO of Impact 211. "There is an increase in calls. There is an increase in demand."

A network of staff and resources in Milwaukee support the new hotline, which is free and available 24/7.

John Hyatt

"Services are available. They're affordable and they work," said Hyatt.

Those in trouble can call, text, chat or reach out online to learn what resources are available in the community -- and how to get connected to them.

"We are aware of what those services are," said Hyatt. "Formal treatment programs, support programs, medication-assisted programs and the full continuum of care."

The hotline helps provide information and access to recovery resources, and it's inclusive of all types of substance use disorders, but opioids, by far, have been the most detrimental.

"Nearly 1,000 people died in 2017 of a heroin overdose," said Hyatt.

The hotline is aimed at bringing that alarming number down with the use of three numbers:  2-1-1.

"At the root of hope is knowing that treatment can help, but to get that, you have to be able to reach out," said Hyatt.

A new website has also been launched, which lets visitors browse treatment services and recovery options. You can find that link HERE.