New Smart Phone App Helps Combat Opioid Addiction and Risks
Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center and NextLOGiK, a Columbia-based technology firm, announced today the launch of a Smart Phone app designed to reduce the risks of opioid-related overdose deaths.
Inspired by Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center’s work, the Overdose Prevention and Intervention Toolkit (OPIT) app features a self-assessment tool for those individuals struggling with opioid use disorder and their loved ones to gain awareness about the risks associated with misuse.
In addition to self-assessment, the OPIT app provides information and disputes myths about opioid use and Opioid Use Disorder. Information about Naloxone, also known as Narcan, includes how to obtain and use the life-saving medication. Other components of the app include: how to recognize and respond to an overdose, the ability to connect directly with a crisis hotline, and how to access important resources for opioid users and their loved ones.
The rise in opioid addiction in Howard County has been the catalyst for a comprehensive attack on drug misuse led by County Executive Calvin Ball and Howard County Health Officer Dr. Maura J. Rossman. According to Ball, local efforts are aligned with the State’s four pillars for addressing the crisis: prevention, treatment, recovery and enforcement.
While there have been measurable results of county efforts, the problem is ongoing. In June, Ball released a Howard County Health Department report that showed that the county experienced a 25.5% reduction in opioid-fatalities in 2018, but there has been a 9.9% increase in non-fatal overdoses this year over last year.
Grassroots, Howard County 24-hour crisis intervention center, has been one of the county’s partners in efforts to address opioid misuse. It contracted with NextLOGiK to identify a technology component to help with the problem. The OPIT app was the result.
“After working with Grassroots to develop the There is Hope suicide prevention app, we were eager to partner with them on OPIT, achieving a goal of widening the access to opioid use disorder resources,” says Helen Little, Chief Marketing Officer & Director of Operations, NextLOGiK. “The misuse and addiction of opioids has become a national crisis, affecting millions of Americans. OPIT serves as an initial touchpoint for individuals and their loved ones who may be struggling with opioid user disorder to take action and get help.”
“Howard County remains committed to helping individuals struggling with substance abuse disorders. The OPIT app is a pertinent self-assessment tool to assist those in our community, who struggle with opioid use disorder, and their families as they walk the road to recovery,” says Ball. “To beat this crisis, we are going to have to work together as one community and the launch of this app is a great step forward.”
“Every opportunity to reach people where they are, is an opportunity to change the lives of those struggling with substance use disorder,” says Rossman. “This app provides another means to access needed resources and services that could not only change, but save a life.”
The OPIT app is now available in the Google Play store and Apple app store.