Drug Abuse Information Textline Launches, Helping First Responde - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Drug Abuse Information Textline Launches, Helping First Responders

Posted: 12/01/2017 18:33:00 -05:00 Updated:

CAMBRIDGE, Md. - Sending a text could now save a life.

On Friday, counties along the mid-shore launched a 24/7 substance abuse textline.

Erin Hill of the Mid-Shore Opioid Misuse Prevention Program or OMPP helped organize the three year project.

She says it's something they really need.

"We realized that a lot of the users of the opioids are the younger generation from 21 to 25 and those are the ones seeking treatment," Hill said.

It starts off with an anonymous text and sending the letters "IWIK," short for "I Wish I Knew," to the number 71441.

The text connects to a call center that then provides the texter with answers to questions, information, and even followup from a treatment specialist.

It's a program hill hopes will grow even more.

"As far as we know, it's the only project of its type in the state," Hill said.

It's a project with potential to help a lot of people and first responders too.

"The textline will allow people to access information about addictions counseling before they even have to call us," said Anna Sierra of Dorchester County Emergency Services.

Sierra says along with the text line, first responders will also get cards with the textline number to hand out.

She says with more tools, there will be more chances to save lives.

"Absolutely. We're really excited about it," Sierra said.

Plenty of tools and, Hill says, plenty of teamwork.

"This groundbreaking initiative is really magical and we're happy to be a part of it," Hill said.

The program is funded through the Maryland Behavioral Health Administration and the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration.

 

 

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