"Stop the Stigma" Opioid Education Campaign
211 Maryland and RALI “Stop the Stigma” Opioid Education Campaign Reignites Statewide
211 Maryland Delivers Resources for Opioid Addiction Through
MDHope Texting Program
RALI Maryland Offers Free Drug Disposal Bags for
National Prescription Drug ‘Take Back Day’ on April 24
BALTIMORE (April 15, 2021) – More than 43,000 Marylanders sought crisis intervention for substance use and mental health through 211 Maryland in 2020. The nonprofit organization is responding to this need by partnering with Rx Abuse Leadership Initiative (RALI Maryland), an organization committed to ending the opioid crisis in Maryland, to reignite the statewide “Stop the Stigma” campaign to support those with opioid addiction while raising awareness of the National Prescription Drug ‘Take Back Day’ on April 24, 2021 in Maryland. Marylanders can opt-in to receive opioid-related text messaging support by texting MDHope to 898-211, and to request a free medication disposal bag.
“As the central connector to health and human services statewide, we saw a spike in opioid-related calls for help last year and preliminary data for 2021 suggests even more people will be in crisis this year,” said Quinton Askew, president and CEO, 211 Maryland, Inc. “Now is the time to reach people by what they use most – their telephones. Our proactive text messaging support gives those suffering from opioid and other drug addiction a crisis specialist in their pocket. We are proud to partner with RALI Maryland to further extend awareness of all of the ways people can access opioid-related resources.”
Free Resources and Drug Disposal Bags
Through the education campaign, RALI Maryland is offering free prescription medication disposal bags to promote safe disposal of drugs. To request a free disposal bag, opt-in to the MDHope texting program (text MDHope to 898-211), select 1 for education and prevention, and 3 for disposing Rx safely. Messaging and data rates may apply.
“One of the easiest ways to play a positive role in our state’s opioid crisis is to dispose of any expired or unneeded prescription medications in a responsible way, so they don’t end up in the hands of someone who could misuse them or harm themselves,” said Blair Eig, M.D., president and CEO, Maryland Patient Safety Center, a RALI Partner. “RALI and 211 Maryland provide resources and education for all aspects of opioid misuse, including overdose prevention, signs of overdose, treatment options, safe disposal and – with the MDHope texting platform – Marylanders in need receive bi-weekly support and positive affirmations to remind them that there are people who care.”
Information is offered to anyone in Maryland with concerns about opioid use including family, friends, professionals and service providers. The MDHope text messages include:
- Information about overdose reversal medication
- Overdose prevention tips
- General information on opioid use
- Treatment options
- Signs of overdose
- Safe disposal of prescription drugs
- Bi-weekly support and affirmations
About 211 Maryland
211 Maryland is the central connector to health and human services for the State of Maryland, empowering individuals and communities to thrive by linking those with unmet needs to essential resources. As the 24/7/365 access point to vital resources that help individuals and communities thrive, 211 Maryland connects those in need through call center, website, text, and chat to support services for natural and man-made disasters, housing, food, domestic violence, aging and disabilities, tax and utilities, employment, healthcare access, and veterans’ affairs; additionally, 211 Maryland offers confidential crisis response for substance misuse, mental health, and suicide emergencies at https://pressone.211md.org.
The Rx Abuse Leadership Initiative (RALI) of Maryland
RALI Maryland is a diverse alliance of more than two dozen local, state and national organizations committed to finding solutions to help end the opioid crisis in Maryland. The organization is bringing people and organizations together to share, learn, and work across community boundaries to help save lives, mobilize stakeholders, and provide resources. More information is available at www.RALImd.org.