The Text Opioid Project is a pilot program that originated in Florida and uses a texting system to provide all kinds of information.
Last June the program was piloted in Okanogan county. Six months later, it expanded to Chelan, Douglas and Grant counties thanks to grant funding. If successful, the program could be adopted other counties or by the state.
Action Health Partners Executive Director Deb Miller said anyone who is seeking information about services targeted toward opioid use and abuse prevention can simply text the word ‘opioid’ to 898-211.
“They get an automatic text back asking a few questions to help differentiate what type of information they will receive.” said Miller, “Based on the way the initial questions are answered, then the person receives proactive texts back randomly providing them information about opioid use and prevention.”
All types of people can use, and benefit from, the service.
“Healthcare providers can indicate that they’re a healthcare provider and want to know about resources in the community.” Miller explained, “Family members who have a loved one that suffers from opioid addiction can text and ask for information for family members, or a current user, that would like to know what kind of support is in their community to help them.”
Miller also indicated that this project may just be the start. The text alert system could also be applied to other issues, such as combating homelessness.