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Wisconsin starts addiction recovery hotline

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin has launched a new addition help line as the state sees hundreds of people annually die of fatal drug overdoses.

The Wisconsin Addiction Recovery Helpline began operating earlier this month, Wisconsin Public Radio reported .

More than 820 people in the state died from prescription painkillers, heroin and synthetic opioids in 2016, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services said.

The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner tells CBS 58 they have confirmed 246 overdose deaths in Milwaukee County this year.

The hotline is meant to help people struggling with addiction to opioids and other drugs find counseling, treatment and other resources, officials said. The service can be accessed by dialing 211 and is free, confidential and available 24 hours a day across the state.

"It's going to be a database that can get individuals the resources that they need at a time they need them most. When they are realizing at that point in time 'I need help' and they reach out," explained Paul Krupski, director of Opioid Initiatives with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

The database includes 1,900 agencies that offer 4,700 services, such as detoxification services, assessment, counseling, day treatment, inpatient services medication-assisted treatment, residential treatment, outpatient services and peer supports, according to a press release from the department.

The state plans to launch a website and text service that can also access the database information later this year, the press release said.

The help line is being funded by a $400,000 grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, which is a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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