Suffolk County officials and substance abuse providers have announced a new plan to tackle a growing epidemic plaguing Long Island. A 24/7 hotline for those dealing with opioid and heroin addiction will be available starting Friday.
“We need to tackle this epidemic on all fronts — including prevention, treatment and law enforcement,” Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said in a press release. “The creation of a local 24/7 hotline is now another tool in our arsenal to assist those who are battling opioid and heroin addiction and their families.”
The Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (LICADD) will operate the 24-hour hotline and provide screenings, referrals and followups for those seeking assistance with substance abuse, county officials said.
The Suffolk County Health Department will provide oversight and analyze data to monitor its effectiveness and identify trends and emerging issues in the community.
“The number of heroin deaths in Suffolk County has nearly tripled since 2010,” Suffolk County Legislature Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory said in a statement. “This alarming data demands our immediate attention. A centralized hotline for people in crisis is a critical step toward saving lives, but we must do more.”
The hotline is the county’s latest initiative to combat a drug abuse crisis that has caused heroin deaths to triple in Suffolk County since 2010.
On Monday, Mattituck High School hosted an informational session for parents warning them about the dangers of drug abuse and training community members how to administer a life-saving medication called Narcan in the event of an overdose.
The hotline, which launches Friday, can be reached at 631-979-1700.