NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Will Chappell) -- The Nashville Metro Public Health Department this week introduced a new program designed to alert narcotics users of surges in overdoses in the city.
The system was designed to send text messages to enrolled subscribers when there is a spike in the number of overdoses in Metro.
Warnings from the system will alert users and their friends and family members to heightened overdose risk in the community. It could also be used to warn of bad batches of drugs.
Through the first quarter of 2021, Nashville suffered some 1,300 suspected overdoses, about the same number observed in the first quarter of 2020.
However, the number of deaths caused by suspected overdoses surged by almost 20% in 2021. This follows 2020 tallying the highest number of overdoses on record, with both overdoses and deaths roughly doubling since 2016.
Nashville is one of five metro areas introducing the overdose spike alert system nationwide as part of a pilot project designed by the Partnership to End Addiction.
Residents who wish to enroll in the alert system should text “SPIKE” to 1-855-963-5669 and complete the response form.
For more information on MPHD’s Opioid/Overdose Response and Reduction Program call 615-340-0498 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.