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As part of their response to the opioid crisis, Baltimore City officials have launched a new hotline number for residents for substance abuse and mental health crisis calls.

The number -- 410-433-5175 -- will be staffed 24 hours a day, every day of the year, by trained professionals. In the past there had been more than one number, and health officials believe the consolidated effort will simplify the system for those needed services, treatment or information.

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The crisis, information and referral line was a recommendation of the Mayor's Heroin Treatment and Prevention Task Force.

"Over and over again, we have heard that our residents are looking for a reliable, easy-to-use, 24/7 resource for any and all mental health and addiction concern," Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen said in a statement. "Our new Crisis, Information & Referral line allows us to deliver life-saving crisis treatment and connect patients and their families to obtain the treatment they need."

The new line is a collaboration among the Baltimore City Health Department and the nonprofit organizations Behavioral Health System BaltimoreHealthCare Access Maryland and Baltimore Crisis Response, Inc. The groups have manned hotlines in the past, answering calls from thousands of people annually.

Officials have said they continue to work on expanding the services available to those with addiction and mental health issues.

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