After Hours Telephone Recovery Support Helpline

(412) 463-7006
5 pm- Midnight
Let us help you navigate systems for services on where to turn for resources, referrals, and how to assist yourself or loved ones with recovery support. Our Certified Recovery Specialist (CRS), who answers this phone line, will even be a listening ear if you just need to talk.  This telephonic service was designed as a source of information and support for individuals, families, and others in Allegheny County struggling with substance abuse disorders.  The CRS that monitors this helpline can refer callers to treatment facilities, other citywide services, and supports to meet their needs.
This service includes:
  • Referrals for immediate care to appropriate providers (e.g. crisis intervention, hospitals, detox facilities, etc.)
  • Advocacy for those experiencing difficulty in accessing addiction services
  • Support in navigating service systems
  • Information and meeting lists on local recovery programs (AA, NA,  faith based groups,  secular groups and other 12step groups)
  • Recovery Community activities and events (e.g. recovery dances, speaker jams, recovery walks, etc.)

Message Carriers works with state, local and community based organizations to help Allegheny County residents find the support they need.

Health Insurance

Pennsylvania health insurance exchange / marketplace

Understanding the LawThe Parity Act
The Parity Act, formerly known as the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equality Act of 2008 was enacted in 2009 and is an extension of the Mental Health Parity Law of 1996. The 1996 law extended coverage by certain health insurance companies to include mental health issues, along with the usual medical issues. The new Parity Act extends coverage even further to include substance use issues. The law requires that any group health plan that covers more than 50 employees and offers mental health and/or substance use disorders coverage must provide that coverage with no greater financial requirements (i.e., co-pays, deductibles, annual or life-time dollar limits) or treatment limitations (i.e., number of visits) than the predominant requirements the plan applies to substantially all medical / surgical benefits.  Note, however, that the law does not require employers to cover mental health or substance use treatments if they are not already offered.

Pennsylvania Act 106 of 1989
Pennsylvania law outlining the mandated minimum benefits for alcohol abuse treatment and drug addiction treatment under most group insurance plans in Pennsylvania.

  •  Up to 7 days for detoxification per year/28 days per lifetime
  • 30 days in-patient rehabilitation per year/90 days per lifetime
  • 30 units of outpatient per year/120 units per lifetime

The only requirement is a certification and referral from a licensed physician or psychologist.  All services must be provided in facilities licensed by the Department of Health specifically to provide alcohol and other drug addiction treatment services.


Family Support

Al Anon
No Appointments Needed
International. 32,000 + groups. A fellowship of men, women and children whose lives have been affected by the compulsive drinking of a family member or friend. Call Al Anon Family Group near you 24/7 for meetings (888) 425-2666  *No Dues or Fees at: More info contact Al Anon-Alateen (888) 425-2666.

Families Anonymous (FA)
International. Over 500 groups, founded in 1971 and headquartered in Culver City, CA. “Families Anonymous (FA) is a Twelve Step, self help, recovery program and fellowship of support groups for relatives and friends of those who have alcohol, drug or behavioral problems.” Information from P.O. Box 3475, Culver City, CA 90231 3475. FA’s World Service Office can be reached at 1 800 736 9805, between 10 AM and 4 PM PST, or by e mail More information at: information on meetings, literature, and an e-meeting. Parents concerned with drug and alcohol abuse to minor behavioral problems, runaways, hostility, delinquency, truancy, low self esteem, and other related topics.

Recovery Support

Addiction Treatment for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
A web site rather than a group, this site provides information on AA groups and activities that offer American Sign Language services for the deaf and hard of hearing. It links to online meetings, offers information on how to construct a meeting for deaf and hard of hearing persons, provides an information packet, and suggests guidelines and literature on alcoholics with special needs. More information at

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)
International. 98,710 groups. Founded 1935. A fellowship of men and women who come together to share their experience strength and hope. General Service Office, P.O. Box 459, Grand Central Station, New York, NY 10163. Call (212)870 3400; FAX: (212)870 3003. More information at: This site is available in English, Spanish, and French.

Cocaine Anonymous (CA)
International. An estimated (1996) 30,000 members in over 2,000 groups. “Cocaine Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other so that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from addiction. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop using cocaine and all other mind altering substances.” The same guidelines apply to CA as to AA when making referrals More information at

Drug and Alcohol Addiction Resource Guide
This guide will discuss the resources available to anybody experiencing difficulty with drug and/or alcohol dependence. Includes resources for early intervention, support for those struggling with addiction and their loved ones, and a summary of useful links. Check out the guide here:

Dual Recovery Anonymous (DRA)
International. 880 known meetings worldwide. Founded in 1989 in Kansas City, Kansas. DRA is an independent, 12-step, self help organization for people with a dual diagnosis. People who are chemically dependent and also affected by an emotional or psychiatric illness. Contact Dual Recovery Anonymous World Service Central Office, P.O. Box 8107, Prairie Village, KS 66208. Toll Free 1 877 883 2332. More information at Many local meetings are listed on the website by country and state.

J.A.C.S. (Jewish Alcoholics, Chemically Dependent Persons and Significant Others)
International. About 50 groups. Aims to help Jews understand alcoholism and especially how to integrate Alcoholics Anonymous with their Judaism. Contact J.A.C.S., 850 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10010. Phone: 212 397 4197; Fax: 212 489 6229. More information at http://www.jacsweb.orgJewish clients with alcohol and/or drug problems, especially if they have difficulty with the spirituality of A.A. or N.A.

LifeRing Secular Recovery (LSR)
International. About 50 groups. Split off from Secular Organizations for Sobriety in 1997; LifeRing offers meetings in many states as well as Canada and Europe. More information at:, which contains explanations of LifeRing’s basic philosophy, the three “S” of Sobriety, Secularity, Self Help. “LifeRing Secular Recovery (LifeRing or LSR) is a non religious self help recovery network for individuals who seek group support to achieve abstinence from alcohol and other addictive drugs, or who are in relationships where chemical dependency is a problem.” Those dissatisfied with more classic modalities of recovery. LifeRing encourages crosstalk and direct feedback at meetings.

Marijuana Anonymous (MA) 
Meetings in 27 states, the District of Columbia, and five foreign countries. Marijuana Anonymous is a 12-Step fellowship that addresses the common problem of marijuana addiction. There are face-to-face and online meetings. There are four online meetings per week and one additional meeting that is an online, voice chat meeting. Information available from the web site and the General Service Office. MA can be reached at: Marijuana Anonymous World Services, P.O. Box 2912,Van Nuys, CA 91404, 1-800-766-6779. More information at

Narcotics Anonymous (NA)
International. 30,000+ groups. Founded 1953. A fellowship of men and women who come together for the purpose of sharing their recovery from drug abuse. There are no dues, fees, or registration requirements. The only requirement for membership is the desire to stop using drugs. Uses 12 Step program adapted from AA. Information is available in several languages, on audio tapes and in Braille. Contact: NA, P.O. Box 9999, Van Nuys, CA 91409. Call (818)773 9999; FAX: (818)700 0700. More information at who abuses alcohol or other drugs is welcome in NA. In general, the NA membership is younger and more diverse than is AA, but otherwise the same guidelines apply to NA as to AA in making referrals.

Online Intergroup of Alcoholics Anonymous
Internet only. The Online Intergroup of Alcoholics Anonymous was formed to serve all online AA Groups in the rapidly growing online Fellowship. It offers links to international sites in several languages and sponsors real time meetings, email meetings, events calendar, information and links to other sites and groups. More information at in the Intergroup is open to all online AA groups and all AA members. There are no dues or fees for membership.

Secular Organization for Sobriety/Save Our Selves (S.O.S.)

International. c. 750 groups. Founded (as Secular Sobriety Groups) in 1985. “Secular Organization for Sobriety/Save Our Selves (SOS) is a nonprofit network of autonomous, non professional local groups dedicated solely to helping individuals achieve and maintain sobriety. SOS takes a self empowerment approach to recovery and maintains sobriety is a separate issue from all else.” More information at Contact Jim Christopher, 4773 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90027 (323) 666-4295.; E-mail: Alcoholics who have difficulty with the spirituality or “religion” of Alcoholics Anonymous.

International. More than 300 face to face meetings and 13+ online meetings per week. SmartRecovery split off from Rational Recovery (A.V.R.T.) in 1994. “SMART Recovery is an abstinence based, not for profit organization offering a self help program for people having problems with drinking and using. No one will label you an “alcoholic” or an addict. You are neither diseased nor powerless, and if you do not believe in a religion or spirituality, that’s fine, too. We teach common sense self help procedures designed to empower you to abstain and to develop a more positive lifestyle.” Contact: SMART Recovery, 7537 Mentor Avenue, Suite #306, Mentor, Ohio 44060, Toll-Free:866 951 5357 or 440 951 5357; FAX: 440 951 5358. More information at who have difficulty with “spirituality” who might benefit from a Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy approach.

Internet only
“12-step support groups combined with ‘Virtual Fellowship’ and recovery management tools make “The Daily Pledge” is a safe, anonymous recovery environment for those suffering from alcoholism and drug addiction and their family members. The site contains “bulletin boards and chat rooms where you can get support when you need it, and offer your own support to those who can benefit from it. They offer virtual meetings on a regular basis. . . .” The site also offers reading material and lists local meetings. More information at

Women for Sobriety
National. Founded 1976. c. 200 groups. Contact: WFS, Inc., P.O. Box 618, Quakertown, PA 18951 0618, Phone: (215) 536 8026, Fax: (215) 538 9026; Web: This website also offers an e-mail link. “Based upon a Thirteen Statement Program of positivity that encourages emotional and spiritual growth, the ‘New Life’ Program has been extremely effective in helping women to overcome their alcoholism and learn a wholly new lifestyle.” Many online groups.

Alcohol Abuse Amongst The Elderly
The National Council for Aging Care is trying to raise awareness of the danger of Alcohol Abuse in the Elderly. For more information on this important topic – please click the link below to read their complete guide.