Bostonians May Now Use 311 for Substance Abuse Support

The hotline's operators will forward recovery-focused calls to treatment specialists.

Boston’s 311 service is used for reporting all manner of non-emergency issues—some important, and others less so. The city is rolling out a new functionality for the hotline, however, with a decidedly important mission.

Mayor Walsh introduced Tuesday 311 for Recovery Services, a 24/7 resource for people struggling with substance abuse. Anybody may now use 311 for help getting access to recovery services, finding support for friends and family, and having general questions about addiction and substance use answered. Operators will be equipped to forward recovery-focused calls to the correct treatment centers and specialists.

“We have an incredibly committed treatment community in the City and State health departments and across our city’s network of providers, yet many people in Boston still need help accessing addiction recovery services,” Walsh said in a statement.

The initiative fills a void in the city’s substance abuse prevention strategy, as the often complicated process of getting treatment dissuades many people from trying.

“The service supports our efforts to serve residents battling substance use and addiction, meeting people where they are with the support and services they need,” Boston Public Health Commission Executive Director Monica Valdes Lupi said in the statement. “People using the service will never be placed on hold and the recovery service specialists will be committed to identifying the unique path that best fits their recovery needs.”

If you or a loved one is experiencing an emergency related to substance abuse, however, it’s still best to call 911.

Learn more about 311 for Recovery Services in this video: