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Howard County announces new opioid alert protocol

Posted at 2:29 PM, Mar 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-13 14:29:56-04

If you live in Howard County you may notice some new alerts on your phone.

On Wednesday Howard County Executive Calvin Ball announced new enhancements to their opioid alert protocol aimed at helping residents. The current system uses social media alerts to keep the public informed about overdoses, but the new updated will use a more targeted use of data.

“Howard County is known as a place of wealth, opportunity, and safe streets, but we are not immune from the tragedy of addiction and the opioid crisis,” said Ball. “That is why we have a responsibility to deliver accurate and timely alerts to help prevent overdoses and future deaths.”

The update will add new localized alerts for reports of bad batches of opioids in the area to help prevent lethal overdoses, and will have regional alerts to let people know about bad batches in other parts of our region. Ball says this is important because bad batches threaten to create a sudden spike in lethal overdoses.

“We look forward to collaborating with our state and county partners as we continue to find even better solutions,” added Ball. “With these updates, in addition to our existing alerts, Howard County government will continue to keep you informed so we can fight this crisis together.”

In addition to the updates to the alert protocol, Ball says they received a $1-million grant to fund a 24-hour crisis service and they are opening a halfway house to help combat the opioid crisis in the area.