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Long Island News

Suffolk County To Operate 24 Hour Substance Abuse Hotline

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Suffolk County has teamed up with the Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (LICADD) to operate a 24-hour substance abuse hotline. Callers will be able to access screenings, referrals and follow-up services.

Steve Chassman, LICADD’s executive director, says the group has been operating a similar but smaller hotline for the past 5 years and that their partnership with the county will allow them to expand their reach.

"So that individuals, whether it’s 4 in the morning or 4 in the afternoon, whether it’s Saturday or Sunday, whether it’s family members who are in the throes of this crisis, they can reach not a service but a live clinician," says Chassman, " A LICADD clinician 24 hours-a-day where we can do engagement screening hopefully a brief intervention and be making concrete referrals."

Women with opioid addictions who are pregnant will be fast-tracked to the High-Risk Pregnancy Center at Stony Brook Medicine. In 2014 Suffolk County ranked second in the state in the number of infants born with drugs in their system.

Chassman expects the hotline to be fully operational by March 31.