Section 18. (a) There shall be a bureau of substance abuse services within the department.
(b) The bureau shall establish and advertise a free, anonymous and confidential toll-free telephone helpline that provides comprehensive, accurate and current information and referrals related to addiction treatment and prevention services. The helpline shall inform adult and juvenile callers on: (i) acute treatment service facilities and transitional support service facilities that have open beds; (ii) outpatient resources; and (iii) community-based services. The helpline shall be a resource for emergency departments, health centers, families, social workers and medical professionals to obtain information on how to get treatment for an individual who is addicted to drugs or alcohol. The administration of the helpline shall be coordinated with other departments and agencies to prevent the duplication of similar services. The operation of the helpline may be contracted to third parties; provided, however, that any such contracts shall be performance-based and subject to approval by the commissioner.
(c) The bureau shall establish a website that informs the public of acute treatment service facilities and transitional support service facilities that have open beds. The bureau shall update the website daily. The website shall provide the following information about each facility that has an open bed: (i) the name, address, telephone number and website of the facility; (ii) information about the types of payment that the facility accepts; and (iii) a description of the types of programs and services provided at the facility. The website shall also provide information about services available in each region of the commonwealth including, but not limited to, alcohol and drug free housing as defined in section 18A, outpatient services and community-based services.