County launches spike alert text message program

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UTICA — Oneida County has launched a text message alert program with Partnership to End Addiction aimed at reducing the amount of substance use overdoses by notifying the community of real-time drug and overdose threats.

“We are pleased that Oneida County’s successful implementation of the Overdose Detection Mapping Application Program (ODMAP) and our spike alert notification process positioned us to be one of only three communities selected by Partnership to End Addiction to pilot test this text alert program,” said Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr.

“We look forward to using this tool to enhance our Overdose Response Team’s spike response plan, which includes monitoring overdose trends, post-overdose outreach and alerting the community to potential drug and overdose threats,” the county executive added. “The awareness of spikes allows individuals and organizations to take action to reduce further overdoses and deaths, so I encourage our residents to
sign up to receive these potentially life-saving alerts,” Picente said.

All Oneida County residents, including parents, caregivers, medical professionals, first responders, community groups and those struggling with substance use, can sign up for the free “Spike Alert by Text” program right now by texting the word “SPIKE” to 1-855-963-5669.  

Participants will receive notifications signaling a local increase in overdoses or overdose fatalities in particular areas.

These alerts give community members the insight needed to take measures that will reduce the risk of overdose. The program also connects people to treatment and recovery resources, as well as support systems. Oneida County was chosen as one of three launch areas along with the states of Maryland and Maine.

“We talk to families impacted by addiction every day, and dedicate our resources to supporting them,” said Kevin Collins, vice president of the Family and Community Support Services for Partnership to End Addiction.

“Through this program, we’re providing potentially life-saving information that local communities need to mitigate the effects of powerful opioids. Our hope is that these overdose alerts and the free, personalized resources provided by Partnership to
End Addiction at drugfree.org will help save lives and bring families closer together,” Collins added.

ODMAP was developed by the Washington/Baltimore High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, and collects and analyzes reports about drug overdoses from communities across the country, including Oneida County. This data enables communities to identify overdose spikes – multiple drug overdoses during a timeframe.

“ODMAP is a tool that allows for communities to collaborate with a variety of stakeholders in the effort to combat drug overdoses,” said Marquis Johnson, ODMAP program coordinator. “We are excited to see Oneida County and Partnership to End Addiction utilizing their resources to prevent overdoses.”

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