Governor Wolf Announces Increased Use of Treatment Helpline in First Quarter 2018

April 26, 2018

Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today announced details of the increase in first quarter 2018 calls to the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs’ PA Get Help Now helpline. In the first three months of the year, the free helpline that connects Pennsylvanians to licensed drug and alcohol treatment facilities fielded 5,078 calls – up 1,700 calls from the final quarter of 2017. This increase in calls resulted in 846 more people in the first quarter of 2018 getting directly connected to treatment that can lead toward recovery.

“The heroin and opioid disaster declaration provided for a number of initiatives to speed up access to care, among them the ability for emergency procurement to renew the contract for the helpline – a true lifesaver for more than 26,000 to date,” Governor Wolf said. “We know that getting people suffering from substance use disorder into treatment quickly is a key to establishing recovery and the helpline staff are the voice of expertise to direct callers to the help they or their loved one needs.”

“As we continue to battle the heroin and prescription opioid crisis, connecting Pennsylvanians to treatment is critical to stem the cycle of substance use disorder and help people into recovery,” said Secretary Smith. “The increased number of calls shows that people are using this resource and getting themselves or a loved one into a treatment program that can save their life.”

Governor Wolf first launched the PA Get Help Now helpline in November 2016. Since then, the statewide service has received more than 25,000 calls from Pennsylvanians looking for help for themselves or a loved one. The helpline is staffed by professionals trained in crisis management and is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

In February, the administration launched a media campaign to increase awareness of the helpline as a catalyst to getting treatment for a substance use disorder. The campaign, which was made possible through grant funding from the 21stCentury Cures Act, is running statewide in English and Spanish on television, radio, and digital platforms.

“Too often I hear that people delay entering treatment because they do not know where to begin. Because of this, one of our primary goals for Pennsylvania’s first year of 21st Century Cures Act funding was to increase treatment accessibility for Pennsylvanians affected by substance use disorder,” said Secretary Smith. “The Get Help Now helpline is making that possible every day by being the centralized, accessible, and compassionate resource that people need.”

The helpline has connected more than 10,000 of Pennsylvanians to at least one treatment resource, including detoxification centers, medication-assisted treatment options, outpatient treatment, and other treatment and recovery support services. Helpline operators refer callers to these resources and will stay on the phone with the caller until an appointment is scheduled.

Helpline operators are also trained to recommend resources based on a caller’s financial situation. If a caller is uninsured or unsure how their insurance covers treatment, helpline operators will help find the best option or connect them to their Single County Authority (SCA) that can provide funding for uninsured and underinsured patients.

“If you are concerned about a loved one’s or your own substance use and need help, do not let concerns over how you will pay stop you from making the call,” said Secretary Smith. “Like any other disease, addiction must be treated. Calling the helpline will help you find resources that make recovery possible.”

Individuals seeking recovery resources for themselves or a loved one can call the toll-free PA Get Help Now helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). A live chat option is also available online or via text message at 717-216-0905 for those seeking help who may not be comfortable speaking to a helpline operator.

For more information on the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs and treatment options around the commonwealth, visit and

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