New hotline helps Wisconsin doctors treat addiction

Published: Aug. 7, 2018 at 5:43 PM CDT
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There's a new resource to help fight addiction in Wisconsin.

Dr. Terrence Witt from Mayo Clinic Heath System in Eau Claire says alcohol is one of the most common addiction problems he sees but opioid addiction and methamphetamines are also an increasing problem in the region.

He says addiction and behavioral health resources are somewhat limited and addiction specialists are relatively uncommon in Wisconsin and the U.S. That's why UW-Madison and UW Health are setting up a new hotline that Wisconsin doctors can call to consult with addiction specialists. "I think this will provide us with one more tool that we can use as we treat people in our practice ....from the standpoint of assessment diagnosis as well as next steps related to treatment," said Dr. Witt.

He says it’s important for different organizations to work together to help fight addiction and this new hotline, makes that possible. "It's tremendously important to have everybody in the community fighting it together," said Witt.

He says it’s a misconception that addiction only impacts a certain group of people and the impact goes beyond the health care system. "It affects law enforcement, it affects the judicial system, if affects public health and it affects social services and families tremendously," said Witt.

The University of Wisconsin Addiction Consultation Hotline is funded by a $500,000 grant from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. Health providers can access it on weekdays during normal business hours of 8a.m. to 5 p.m. The hotline can be accessed toll free at 800-472-0111.