United Way of SWLA, La. Department of Health partner for opioid resource line

Published: Jul. 23, 2021 at 6:36 AM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - While the COVID-19 pandemic has taken over headlines, another epidemic continues to rage on.

“I think since January of this year, just our parishes alone in Southwest Louisiana, I think we’ve had 57 opioid-related deaths, and that’s a high number,” said Director of 211 United Way of Southwest Louisiana, Sarina Clooney.

Now, the United Way of Southwest Louisiana’s 211 referral line and the Louisiana Department of Health are partnering together to help address the crisis.

“Residents will be able to receive places that offer opioid-assisted resources, counseling, mat programs, and even sometimes coexisting with an opioid epidemic is mental health awareness, too, so they’ll be able to get both substance abuse and counseling services,” she said.

And as Clooney says, they can call or text anytime.

“If they text the word opioid to 898211, and then a question will come up on the screen, and they’ll enter their zip code,” she said. “That allows the party Via Link, who’s actually controlling and answering the questions through the text line, to find local resources in that zip code.”

She says it not only helps those with addiction but also provides information for families.

“It provides family members a resource way to find help for their family members who are actually experiencing drug addiction.”

Clooney says if you have an opioid-related or substance abuse resource to please reach out to them so they can add it to their 2-1-1 database.

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