Warriors Launch New ‘Angel’ Hotline For Addicts, Families

BERLIN – The Worcester County Warriors Against Opiate Addiction have officially launched a crisis hotline that helps addicts and their families find resources for treatment.

Tish Ottey, director of the Warrior Angel program, said this will be the committee’s third week of operation.

She explained that those seeking resources for treatment and recovery can contact the Warrior Angel hotline, which will direct them to an on-call “angel,” or volunteer case manager. These volunteers can then meet with the addict or family member to provide resources in crisis situations.

In a Warriors meeting earlier this week, co-founder Heidi McNeeley shared the recent success of the program with attendees. In a recent phone call, for example, she said a volunteer was able to meet and assist a resident at Peninsula Regional Medical Center and offer support.

“So we were able to go directly there and meet them in person and give them information,” she said. “So that worked out beautifully.”

Although the committee has only received two phone calls so far, Ottey said the Warriors are currently in the process of handing out rack cards with the listed hotline number.

“It’s for police, EMS, fire, health departments and basically anyone that can utilize our health services,” she said. “It’s not just for the addicted person, but it’s also for the families. They may have questions that first responders may not have the answers to.”

McNeeley said the program’s launch gave the volunteers an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the program before taking a multitude of phone calls.

“The way it came about has worked out really well,” she said. “The rack cards weren’t quite ready, so we didn’t put the number out there. I think it worked out because we are kind of just getting our feet wet and figure out about manning the phone.”

Ottey said that up to 20 volunteers are taking turns on a week-by-week basis to answer calls, but added that the organization will add another Warrior Angel training opportunity within the coming months for those interested in joining the team.

The idea for the Warrior Angel program was introduced last year. Since then, the committee spearheading the program has worked with health and law enforcement agencies to adopt a method for helping those who are ready to seek treatment.

Ottey said the only people who have called the hotline so far have been from agencies that know of the hotline’s existence, but added that the ultimate goal is to get the phone number to the public.

She explained that Life Crisis manages the hotline number — 443-880-5943 — and will direct individuals to a Warrior Angel.

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.