Since 2007, the United Way of Rhode Island (UWRI) has operated a 2-1-1 hotline to help connect state residents with resources for assistance with housing, food, health care and more. Now, with help from the CVS Health Foundation, UWRI has added access to opioid misuse resources to that list.
A 24/7 Connection to Resources
Communities in every state across the country, including Rhode Island, have been impacted by the opioid epidemic. To help increase access to treatment and recovery resources, the CVS Health Foundation awarded a grant of more than $50,000 to UWRI to expand its 2-1-1 capabilities to include services specifically for individuals struggling with opioid abuse.
“We hope to make it easier for patients, family members, and caregivers to find resources in our home state of Rhode Island,” said Eileen Howard Boone, President of the CVS Health Foundation.
Funds from the CVS Health Foundation have enabled a partnership between UWRI and Anchor Recovery, a comprehensive substance abuse treatment organization. This partnership allows 2-1-1 call center specialists to connect callers with Anchor Recovery substance abuse counselors via three-way calling. The 2-1-1 service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
In addition to three-way calling capabilities with Anchor Recovery, UWRI has launched a web page with information and a list of resources that may be helpful to individuals struggling with opioid misuse. 2-1-1 call center specialists will receive specialized training to answer addiction-related calls and will be able to point callers in the direction of UWRI’s online list of resources and others.
UWRI will also bring its mobile 2-1-1 Outreach RV to locations throughout the state, including visits to CVS Pharmacy stores, to raise awareness of the opioid epidemic and to conduct free, confidential, in-person screenings.
“The opioid epidemic has harmed Rhode Island families, damaged our communities, and destroyed lives. Now, more than ever, we must support our neighbors and help each other heal. Thanks to CVS Health, United Way’s 2-1-1 can help the community heal by helping those struggling with opioid addiction find the care they need,” said Cortney Nicolato, President and CEO of United Way Rhode Island.
Our On-Going Efforts to Fight the Opioid Epidemic
Our support for UWRI is one of many steps we have taken to tackle the opioid epidemic, both nationally and in Rhode Island, where our company is headquartered.
In September 2017, we announced a multi-pronged, enterprise-wide strategy that included enhanced support for addiction recovery programs and opioid utilization management criteria for prescriptions. More recently, at an event at the White House, we announced the expansion of two of our signature programs: our safe drug disposal program and Pharmacists Teach.
The CVS Health Foundation has also awarded grants to several community health centers and other nonprofits that are working on this public health challenge.