Overdose safety hotline expands with goal of saving more lives

I-Team

PITTSFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Your chances of having a drug overdose are higher if you use drugs alone. The ‘Never Use Alone New England’ hotline offers a drug user an added protection that could save their life if they were to overdose.

Berkshire County paramedic Stephen Murray is the director of the ‘Never Use Alone New England.’ The way the hotline works is if a person is going to use drugs alone, they’re encouraged to call the hotline. A trained volunteer will stay on the phone with them to make sure they don’t overdose. The operator will call 911 if the person becomes unresponsive. The hotline is open to anyone who engages in drug use.

“A lot of harm reduction programs are geared toward people who recreationally use drugs and to help keep them safe because people who are recreationally using drugs are at just as [high] of a risk as those who are engaged in disordered drug use,” Stephen Murray said.

The Never Use Alone hotline was previously called ‘Never Use Alone Massachusetts.’ It’s been rebranded and expanded to ‘Never Use Alone New England.’ The hotline services Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. 

The hotline number is 1-800-972-0590. All calls are kept confidential. Murray tells the 22News I-Team that call volume has increased significantly this year.

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