New overdose alert system for Montgomery County unveiled to the public
The Montgomery County Community Overdose Action Team unveiled an OD Surge Alert system on Thursday. The system alerts subscribers when there is a surge of overdoses in Montgomery County by sending a text message.
Anyone can opt in to the system by texting their 5 digit zip code to (937) 582-8667. You do not have to live within Montgomery County to opt in the system, but the system will only alert to surges of overdoses in Montgomery County.
An alert is triggered when data gathered from hospitals and fire departments show there is a higher number of overdoses compared to historical data.
“The alert will contain vital information and tips about how to keep safe during this surge that the community is seeing,” Casey Smith, the Community Overdose Action Team Project Manager, said. “Some of these tips will include action items, such as a reminder to make sure you have Narcan available [and] ensuring that you're not using drugs alone.”
Smith said that she and other officials hope that these tips can help lower the number of overdoses in the county.
“We want to be able today to encourage everyone who has an individual in their lives battling an addiction to sign up for the OD text alerts,” Helen Jones-Kelley, the executive director of the Montgomery County Alcohol, Drug Addiction & Mental Health Services (ADAMHS), said. “This system will allow them to have an opportunity for opening the doors of communication.”
Jones-Kelley also said that she hopes the alert system will de-stigmatize of drug use and addiction, which should allow for people to better seek help.
Between January and June 19 of this year, there have been 133 overdoses in Montgomery County. In 2021, there were a total of 337 overdoses.