PORTSMOUTH – New Hampshire residents now have access to a statewide hotline, designed to help people suffering from a substance use disorder, as well as their family and friends.
Confidential support from addiction counselors is available for New Hampshire residents affected by the opioid crisis.
The Addiction Policy Forum (APF), a leading nationwide nonprofit tackling the opioid crisis, launched the confidential resource line for people across New Hampshire who are struggling with substance use disorder, as well as for their loved ones. Doug Griffin, New Hampshire chair of ARC, said the phone line is designed as one more tool to address the growing epidemic that affects hundreds of families across the state.
In 2016, New Hampshire saw more than 480 deaths from drug overdoses, and opioids accounted for 91 percent of those fatalities.
“New Hampshire is undoubtedly among the states that have been hit the hardest by the opioid epidemic,” said Jessica Hulsey Nickel, president and CEO of the Addiction Policy Forum. “The ARC line will connect New Hampshirites to experts who can offer much-needed assistance, and we hope to see the number of people impacted by addiction decrease as more patients and families access the help they need.”
By calling (833) 301-HELP (4357), New Hampshire residents affected by addiction will receive confidential support, information about local treatment or recovery resources, and education about substance use and addiction from addiction counselors, licensed social workers and peer recovery support advocates.
The ARC line is available from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST Monday through Friday.
“Our families, our communities and our state are suffering from the consequences of substance use disorder,” said Griffin. “Offering high-quality help in a way that is easy for individuals and families to access is one of the best ways to address the current crisis. The ARC line does just that. It provides a one-stop shop for information and support when people need it most.”
Griffin lost his own daughter Courtney to an overdose on Sept. 29, 2014. Since then he has made it his mission to help prevent more deaths in any way he can.
“The hotline is free and allows people to talk with real clinicians, who can offer help,” said Griffin. “They can find help dealing with insurance and in finding treatment. We look forward to working with governor and all state agencies to make this a better way to link available services.”
While the hotline is currently only available from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Griffin said their hope is that the line will eventually be open 24/7.
“If I could have sat in the privacy of my home and found the best help, maybe we could have saved Courtney’s life,” said Griffin.
Griffin said it was Nickel’s dream to create a nationwide organization to help people with substance use disorders. He said they have 18 states on board already, all manned by an army of volunteers, and they hope to have all 50 states on board by the end of the year.
The line is part of New Hampshire’s Addiction Recovery Coalition, which also includes a comprehensive, interactive website to help individuals and families struggling with addiction learn about substance use disorders and access help. This platform dispels harmful myths about addiction by presenting the science behind the disorder in easy-to-read formats, guiding concerned individuals through a self-assessment tool, helping to develop a proposed action plan and providing a database of local treatment providers.
In addition to developing accessible community resources, the Addiction Policy Forum, which has chapters in 18 states and a national office in Washington, D.C., is committed to tackling addiction by effecting policy change at the local, state and national levels, and raising awareness of the nationwide addiction crisis.
For information on ARC, visit www.addictionresourcescenter.org.