Illinois opioid helpline based in Boston

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) – The Illinois Department of Human Services has hired a Boston-based company to run an opioid help hotline despite receiving proposals from at least three Illinois providers.

The hotline is part of the state’s effort to combat the opioid epidemic. The $1.2 million program is being paid for through a federal grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

The Belleville News-Democrat reports the department searched for a provider that could operate the hotline at all hours every day and could handle 30,000 calls a year.

The state agency opted to go with Boston-based Health Resources in Action. Spokesman Patrick Laughlin says the department chose a vendor that didn’t have a conflict of interest when referring individuals to treatment.

Health Resources in Action has received 1,000 calls since starting.