New opioid texting program launched from 211 Maryland and RALI

MARYLAND- A new texting program recently launched by 211 Maryland and Rx Abuse Leadership Initiative for Marylanders suffering from opioid addiction, as well as their family and friends.

Now, all they have to do is text MDHope to 898-211 to be connected to information.

“It supports individuals who are suffering from opioid addictions, family members and friends where they can quickly and easily get hope for informational resources related to opioid use,” Quinton Askew, President and CEO of 211 Maryland, said.

We are told that COVID-19 restrictions have meant that many in recovery weren’t able to see their peers or get to other supportive services in the same way.

The result of that we’re told has been an uptick in opioid-related calls.

“Within the first three months of the pandemic we  answered in Maryland over 40,000 calls for help, a percentage of those calls related to mental health, substance abuse and opioid use, Askew said.

That’s a big reason why they felt this new texting program would be helpful.

They also feel it gives family and those suffering from opioid addictions a new alternative to getting help.

“Sometimes people don’t want to talk on their phone or they don’t want to have a conversation with someone so sometimes its easier anonymously to just provide information to just send a text,” Debbie Smullen, Worcester Goes Purple Events Coordinator, said.

And while it’s uncertain how the pandemic will play out the hope this initiative may serve as a role model for others.

“Help right away will be important as we continue to go on, but I think that folks will be able to look at initiatives like this around Maryland to able to utilize tech as any easy way to connect,” Askew said. 

To learn more about the program, you can head to https://211md.org 

Categories: Coronavirus, Local News, Maryland