Crisis text line helps those in need during the holiday season


An addiction recovery center is telling people to pick up their phones and transform their lives.

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Whether it’s driving a car or sitting in a classroom, society is often told to put down the cell phones. However, a crisis text line with Solutions Recovery Center is encouraging addicts and those in need to pick up their phones.

Tarell Rodgers, an addiction counselor with Solutions Recovery Center, said the idea came to him after he was frequently being contacted on his personal phone and helping those in crisis through text messages. He wanted to expand the idea to help more people in the Upstate community.

Rodgers said the idea has been well received, particularly because he finds people are more comfortable seeking help from behind a screen. “The anonymity that texting provides has been wonderful for people to be able to share their stories,” Rodgers said.

The concept is simple. Anyone in need of help can simply text “CRISIS” to 38470. Within two minutes, a counselor will be on the other end of the conversation, helping the person through their current situations.

The crisis text line is intended to be used for addicts who want help, drug overdose situations, domestic violence situations and more.

“Sometimes people need to be talked from the ledge,” Rodgers said. Recovering addict Barbara Bell said she used a similar method of text message which helped her break the cycle of addiction. “I couldn’t keep running,” Bell said. “That’s when I reached out for help.” Bell goes on to say that texting is a much more comforting and anonymous way to get the help she needed.

“When I first reached out it was much more comfortable to do through a screen than to put my voice on the line,” Bell said.

The crisis line is available 24/7 and thanks to short-code technology, a certified counselor will respond in just two minutes. Rodgers said that the counselor will evaluate the circumstance of the texting person in crisis, and determine which resources to steer them toward. If there is a true emergency, the counselor will call police to intervene and assist in the situation.

“I’m here, we’ll listen, we’ll send somebody to get you,” Rodgers said. “I think that opens a whole new door in terms of addiction and talking somebody back from having to use.”

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