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Rensselaer County Launches Recovery Helpline To Assist Those Seeking Help With Heroin And Addiction Issues



A Recovery Helpline to assist residents dealing with recovery and addiction issues has been launched today by Rensselaer County, County Executive Steve McLaughlin announced.

Residents can reach the Recovery Helpline at 1-833-HOPE-123 or 1-833-467-3123 to receive information, resources or referrals for themselves or anyone needing help with substance abuse and recovery.

The Recovery Helpline will operate 7 days a week from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and will be operated by volunteers with experience in addiction and recovery issues.

“The problem of heroin and opioid addiction has damaged too many lives and families in our county, and Rensselaer County is stepping up our efforts to fight this battle and help those seeking recovery,” said County Executive Steve McLaughlin.

The helpline is being launched by the Rensselaer County Heroin Coalition, with input from Carl Quinn and Desiree Graziano from Columbia County Pathway to Recovery and volunteers and participants with the county Coalition.

“This has been the worst drug epidemic that I have seen during my more than 40 years in law enforcement. This helpline will help bring resources and hope to the residents of our county,” added Sheriff Pat Russo, who is also a co-chair of the Coalition.

“Having a 7 day a week helpline in the county would help fill the need of where an individual or family member can turn to seek out resources needed for a person suffering from the disease of addiction. People need help when they are ready and we will be ready to serve them in a moment of need. It will be a great way to provide linkages to care,” said county Public Health Director Maryfran Wachunas, who is a co-chair of the Coalition.

Rensselaer County has seen 105 deaths from opioids since 2012, with 2016 being the deadliest year with 21 deaths confirmed and 6 additional deaths, pending toxicology. So far this year, the Medical Examiner Program has five confirmed deaths and 14 deaths pending toxicology.

Along with the Recovery Helpline, the county also funded a new position of Opioid Recovery Coordinator, with Neil Kelleher named to that position. Kelleher will be assisting with operation of the Helpline.

The Rensselaer County Recovery Helpline will be looking for volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering, please write to [email protected].

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