Human Services Department announces the Launch of Peer Support Warmline

A Free, Confidential Call Line for Help with Opioid Addiction

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

​The Human Services Department has implemented a Peer Support Warmline, a non-crisis support line with Peer Support Specialists ready to listen and provide support. The name comes as an alternative to a "hotline," due to the non-emergency nature of the calls received. This valuable new initiative has been established to help address the severe opioid misuse problem which has reached epidemic proportions in the Commonwealth.

Virginia Beach was awarded a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for an Opioid Prevention, Treatment and Recovery program.  The grant money is being used to purchase medication, support medical staff necessary to prescribe and oversee clinical treatment, hire Peer Recovery Specialists, and remove barriers to access, such as transportation.

The Warmline is staffed by trained Peer Recovery Specialists who have been successful in their own recovery and now help others experiencing similar situations. Through shared understanding, respect and mutual empowerment, Peer Recovery Specialists help people become and stay engaged in the recovery process and reduce the likelihood of relapse. Peer support services can effectively extend the reach of treatment beyond the clinical setting into the everyday environment of those seeking a successful, sustained recovery process. In addition to answering the Warmline, Peer Recovery Specialists will deliver peer services to individuals in opioid related crisis at the following Virginia Beach Emergency Departments: Sentara Virginia Beach General, Sentara Princess Anne and Sentara Independence.

"We know people in recovery and people dealing with substance abuse look to their peers for support and want to speak with others that can relate to what they're going through," states Shelby Giles, BHD Clinical Services Coordinator, Virginia Beach Department of Human Services. "They might not have anybody to listen or maybe are feeling isolated and just need that support and encouragement."

Warmline services are available Thursday through Sunday, from noon – 9 p.m. To speak with a Peer Support Specialist, please call (757) 402-6190. If assistance is needed outside of scheduled operations, please call (757) 385-0888.

The mission of the Human Services Department is to provide Virginia Beach citizens the opportunity to achieve the highest possible level of self-sufficiency, safety and quality of life through an array of coordinated services delivered in a climate of dignity, respect and accountability. Learn more about Human Services at

# # #