BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Help is on the way for those suffering from addiction. A new addiction hotline for Erie County will launch Monday morning.
Lawmakers have been working on it for months after seeing an increase in the number of people dying because of opioids.
In western New York, opioid overdose numbers are expected to double this year from 2015.
The goal of the county-wide hotline is to provide the community with a quick and easy way to find information, support and treatment for addiction.
“My hope and my goal is that by us as a community continuing to show and talk about the need for help and also setting up systems to provide that, that people will feel more comfortable to reach out for help,” said Jessica Pirro, Crisis Services.
Crisis Services told News 4, over $300,000 from Erie County went towards creating this hotline, but they admit there were some delays, especially when searching for qualified counselors.
“We’ve had issues with hiring and finding individuals in the community that not only have the specialized background, but are willing to do 24 hour work,” said Pirro.
Officials said this hotline isn’t just for those addicted to opioids, it’s for any substance abuse addiction.
“We wanted to keep it general just because we don’t’ want to then have people who are struggling from addiction, not have a place to turn to, but obviously the focus on the pain medications and the heroin issue and everything that’s going on has been the driver of getting this going,” said Pirro.
The Crisis Services addiction hotline will launch Monday, August 1 starting at 8:00 a.m. If you or a loved one is battling a drug addiction, you can call the new 24 hour hotline at 716-831-7007.