South Boston Online has published a series of articles on the severe drug problems in South Boston – 17 such articles actually, from the fall of last year to the spring of 2016.  These articles have been somber and even outright tragic in nature.  But now, another way to obtain help is here.  The City of Boston, led by Mayor Martin J. Walsh, has opened the City’s 311 hotline to calls from those who need assistance with a drug or alcohol problem.


By Rick Winterson


   Last week, Mayor Martin J. Walsh launched a program entitled “311 for Recovery Services”.  This program is a new hotline support system.  It is the City of Boston’s response to our community’s severe problems with drug and alcohol use, abuse, and addiction.  As you know, these have led to many fatal overdoses.

Anyone in the City of Boston can now call 3-1-1.  You may call about your friends, your families, or yourself, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.  This 24/7/365 service will give you access to:

–   All levels of substance use/addiction treatment.

–   Recovery-related support services for friends and family.

–   Answers to general questions related to substance use/addiction.

The Mayor has set up an Office of Recovery Services; he made his announcement about “311 for Recovery Services” nine days ago at 12:45, in the PAATHS Recovery Program Center (774 Albany Street, South End).  PAATHS is an acronym that stands for “Providing Access for Addictions Treatment, Hope, and Support”.

When a call is made to 311, it will be first received by a 311 Operator.  After the 311 Operator identifies this as a call seeking recovery services, he/she will then route the call to a PAATH Recovery Specialist, who will work with the caller to find out the best way to help.  This service will be available from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. (Monday through Friday) and 12 noon until 4 p.m. over the weekend days.  At all other hours, your call will be sent to the State’s support line, the Helpline, or to the Gavin Foundation’s recovery staff.

Your 311 call will be answered 24/7/365!  There is always someone ready to help you with substance problems, addiction, and recovery assistance.  There is always a trained recovery professional available to talk when you call 311.  And your call will be treated confidentially

Do yourself and the community a favor.  Call 311 about any substance abuse issue you may have.