CHICAGO (AP) — An Illinois hotline that supports people addicted to opioids and other substances has received 10,000 calls since it was set up in late 2017.

The Illinois Department of Human Services also said Thursday the Illinois Helpline website created last June has been visited more than 14,000 times.

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Deputy Gov. Sol Flores says the numbers are evidence “there is a dire need for us to address the opioid crisis head-on.”

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The Illinois Department of Public Health says 2,202 people died from opioid overdoses in Illinois in 2017. That’s more than one-and-a-half times the number of homicides and almost twice the number of fatal car accidents.

IDHS says it’s expanded a program that helps patients who are treated at hospitals to receive immediate treatment after their hospital visits.

The hotline is 1-833-2FINDHELP.

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