U of Wisconsin to open physician addiction hotline

Madison-based University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health received a $1 million grant to establish an addiction consultation hotline, according to a press release.

The University of Wisconsin Addiction Consultation Hotline will offer daily on-call help to healthcare providers seeking support and direction in dealing with their patients' substance abuse problems. Addiction specialists on the hotline will provide advice for long-term and follow-up care and provide counseling for the full range of addictions involving alcohol, opioids, stimulants, marijuana and synthetics.

The grant, allocated by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, will support the program for two years.

"The misuse of substances and the complications that flow from that misuse represent the single largest preventable and treatable contributors to morbidity and mortality in this state and nationally," Randall Brown, MD, PhD, associate professor of family medicine and community health at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and overseer of the program, said in a press release emailed to Becker's Hospital Review.

Seventy percent of Wisconsin's rural communities do not have providers certified to give medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorders.

“The goal of this project is to offer real-time support and expertise from specialists in addiction medicine, addiction psychiatry, psychology and AODA counseling," Dr. Brown said. "I am confident that we can reduce the enormous suffering substance abuse produces in this state." 

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