TN REDLINE Adds New Text Communication Capability

Addiction treatment resource adds new capability to meet needs
Wednesday, July 10, 2019 | 09:40am

NASHVILLE, Tenn.—The Tennessee REDLINE today unveiled its new text message capability for people seeking a referral to addiction treatment services.  The number for confidential referrals via voice call or text message remains the same: 800-889-9789.

Since 1989, the Tennessee REDLINE has served as a referral service to addiction treatment for people and their families looking for help for substance use disorder.  The service is provided by the Tennessee Association for Alcohol, Drug and other Addiction Services (TAADAS) though a contract with the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS).

“Having to pick up the phone and make a call for a referral to addiction treatment services can be a barrier in a lot of cases.  Whether you’re worried about someone overhearing your conversation, you’re too busy with work or school, or you’re simply more comfortable texting than talking, this new text message feature is going to remove that barrier,” said TDMHSAS Commissioner Marie Williams, LCSW.

The text message capability on the Tennessee REDLINE allows staff to make referrals via text or to follow up phone call referrals with texted information.  It also gives people an opportunity to interact and obtain information at their own pace rather than spending a period of time engaged in a call.  All conversations and referrals via text message or voice call are completely confidential.

“Whether they’re people struggling with substance abuse or family members searching for help, callers are often not in the best frame of mind to write down information.  With this new feature, we can text information to people to insure they get the addiction treatment referral they contacted us for,” said Mary-Linden Salter, Executive Director, TAADAS.

In state fiscal year 2019 (ending June 30, 2019), more than 13,000 callers reached out to the Tennessee REDLINE for help.  Calltakers are able to make referrals for callers from across the state.