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Health

Maine Activates New Text Alert Program After Drug Overdoses in Portland

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The SPIKE Auto Text Program issues an alert after three overdoses have occurred within 24 hours in a given county. Anyone can sign up for program by texting SPIKE to (855) 963-5669.

Maine activated a new text alert system for the first time last week after three drug overdoses were reported in Portland. The SPIKE Auto Text Program issues an alert after three overdoses have occurred within 24 hours in a given county.

Sybil Mazerolle of the state Office of Behavioral Health said on Maine Calling Maine Calling Monday that the goal is to alert the public about a potentially lethal batch of drugs in a community and to connect them to resources for help.

"For themselves or on behalf of family members to treatment, recovery, and harm reduction services," Mazerolle says.

Mazerolle says anyone can sign up for program by texting SPIKE to
(855) 963-5669.

Sybil Mazerolle says the texts also connect people to the Know Your Options website, which lists community resources for help and where to get supplies to prevent overdose deaths.

"They can have naloxone on hand, which is really important in keeping their loved ones alive," Mazerolle says.

The SPIKE program launched in June. Maine is the first in the US to launch the program statewide.