Wendy Williams: I'm "Living Proof" That There's Hope For Those With Addiction

By Kelly Burch 04/09/19

Williams touched on her own recovery while promoting her new addiction recovery helpline. 

Wendy Williams

Talk show host Wendy Williams, whose journey through relapse and recovery made headlines this month, has put out a public service announcement urging those who are in need of addiction treatment services to reach out for help.

Williams launched the announcement in conjunction with a new helpline through The Hunter Foundation, an organization that she and her husband, Kevin Hunter, began in 2014 to provide recovery resources. The foundation launched the helpline on March 11 to help people connect with treatment. 

“Hi, I’m Wendy Williams Hunter. My organization, The Hunter Foundation, recently launched a nationwide hotline to offer treatment resources for you if you are a drug addict or substance abuser,” Williams said, according to People.

When people call into the line, at 1-888-5HUNTER, they are connected with recovery coaches who can help them find treatment resources. 

Williams explained, “The calls are being answered by specially-trained, certified recovery coaches. They’re very smart. They conduct screenings to determine your needs. The substance abuse will be taken care of. We will provide you with referrals for long- or short-term treatment at facilities all around the world: detox, rehab, sober living and outpatient centers everywhere, nationwide.”

Williams struggled with cocaine use in the past and was recently hospitalized for drinking. However, she said that her story shows there is hope for everyone battling substance use disorder. 

“If you’re an addict or a substance abuser, don’t be ashamed—help is here for you or a family member or a loved one. Call. Don’t be ashamed, there is hope. I’m living proof.”

Since the hotline launched, it has received more than 10,000 calls and connected more than 400 people with treatment services, according to Today

“10,000 calls in three weeks is remarkable! We’re doing our part by getting the word out,” Williams said. “All it takes is one call to get on the right path. We’re here to help.”

Williams announced in March that she was living in a sober house and working with a sobriety coach. Her relapse reportedly had to do with her husband's extramarital affair, although neither Williams nor Hunter has publicly commented on the matter. Hunter said last week that the couple is focusing on their relationship and Williams’ recovery, while also continuing to help others through their foundation. 

“Wendy and the family are doing fine. We are focused on her health and sobriety, and that is it,” he said. “We are turning the tables on this thing called addiction and turning Wendy’s bout into a positive.”

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Kelly Burch writes about addiction and mental health issues, particularly as they affect families. Follow her on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn.