Heart of Florida United Way has teamed up with the Orange County Heroin Task Force to tackle the opioid crisis head on. There has been a 35% increase in opioid-related deaths in Florida. Even more astounding, fentanyl deaths has seen a spike of 97%.
Each year, the opioid crisis continues to worsen as drug-related deaths continue to rise at an alarming rate. That’s why we have launched the Opioid Texting Program. Text “Opioid” to 898-211 to connect with crucial information and resources.
Heart of Florida United Way’s 2-1-1 Information and Assistance Helpline is taking a leading role in addressing the epidemic because of their expertise in community resources and providing help to those who need it most. The Opioid Texting Program allows someone to anonymously reach out to get information and resources.
By texting “opioid” to 898-211, you can choose from the following options:
Additionally, you can dial 2-1-1 at any time to speak directly with a 2-1-1 Specialist.
Beyond sending vital information, the texting program also provides clients with 130 days of on-going support and affirmations as they make strides towards recovery. According to the 2017 American Journal of Preventive Medicine, text message interventions are capable of producing positive change in preventive health behaviors. Preliminary evidence indicates that these effects can be maintained after the intervention stops.
Opioids are narcotics that are typically prescribed as painkillers. They can be used to treat chronic pain, to deal with post-surgery pain and other similar uses. However, they can become highly addictive as the body builds a tolerance to the medication. When the brain becomes less responsive to them due to drug tolerance, the user becomes more susceptible to pain. This can then lead to physical dependence, addiction and, potentially, overdose.
The epidemic facing our community and country effects men and women of all ages and income levels. What started as a prescribed medication to deal with pain can lead to an addiction that could ruin—or even end—someone’s life. It is destroying families and we are ready to do what we can to put an end to it.