The Alcohol and Drug Hotline, a telephone information and referral crisis intervention service, recently began operating year-round, 24 hours a day, after receiving a one-year federal grant administered by the D.C. department of manpower.
The hotline had previously only operated during the Christmas season. It is run by the Washington Area Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse. Hotline operators are trained to give information and referrals to people with alcohol or drug problems, to family members or any others who may be involved.
"Our success with the WACADA Holiday Hotlines during Christmas and New Year's since 1974 has demonstrated nagging need to initiate an alcohol and drug hotline which could run year-round," said Willie J. Lynch Jr., volunteer board chairman of the Council. Last year, he said, the holiday hotline received over 2,500 calls for information or help during 13 days of operation. Calls continued to come in every day, he said, "to the point of swamping the staff at times. It's frightening to consider how many were missed after the office was closed."
"We're late by several years," Lynch remarked, "considering the large number of people with alcohol-related problems in the metropolitan area. But until now we have not been able to find the basic financial support we needed." A regular staff of hotline operators and volunteers is now available at 466-2323.