CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Human Services has received a generous donation from the Outdoor Advertising Association of Illinois (OAAI) to help spread the word about the state’s new Helpline.
OAAI is providing approximately one hundred free billboards to build awareness about the new Helpline, which offers resources and treatment information to callers who have questions about opioids and other substances. Billboards will be displayed across the state with several larger ones being displayed over the tristate tollways.
“More than 2,200 people have already reached out to the Helpline to get connected with tools that help them or a loved one overcome substance use disorder,” Governor Bruce Rauner said. “This generous donation will help get the word out so people know they don’t have to fight the battle alone.”
Governor Rauner and the Illinois Department of Human Services launched the Illinois Helpline for Opioids and Other Substances last December. It’s a 24/7 resource for Illinoisans to receive help related to substance use disorders. The helpline is free, confidential and for anyone experiencing substance use disorder or affected by the disease. To reach the helpline, individuals can call 1-833-2FINDHELP.
Building public awareness for the helpline is part of the coordinated state-wide effort to address the opioid crisis by increasing access to treatment, reducing unmet treatment needs, and reducing opioid overdose related deaths through the provision of prevention, treatment and recovery support services.
“It is critical that people in crisis or involved in crisis situations have ready access to information regarding available services, and have immediate assistance to utilize these services through resources like the Illinois Helpline for Opioids and Other Substances,” said Secretary James Dimas of the Illinois Department of Human Services. “We are so grateful to Outdoor Advertising Association of Illinois for recognizing the need to promote the Helpline for Opioids and Other Substances and so graciously donating over one hundred of their billboards to this important cause.”
“The members of the Outdoor Advertising Association of Illinois support the efforts being made to help combat this crisis in Illinois,” said Rose Trader, Executive Director of OAAI. “The IDHS helpline has the ability to connect thousands of people to valuable resources that can help them combat this disease, but people need to know the resources exist. As a way to give back to the people and communities we serve, the OAAI donates hundreds of billboards statewide to bring important messages to the motoring public. Our involvement in this helpline effort is a natural extension of our organization’s values and we could not be prouder to participate.”
The Helpline for Opioids and Other Substances is funded by federal grant dollars that the State of Illinois secured from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The Opioid State Targeted Response grant is administered by the Illinois Department of Human Services Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse.
If you or someone you know is experiencing opioid use disorder, call 1-833-2FINDHELP.