MADISON COUNTY, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Drug overdoses have been increasing in Madison County over the last few years. Fentanyl is a main reason why.

“Back in 2019 we had four overdose deaths,” explained Erica Bird, Madison County Public Health Deputy Deputy Director. “Jump ahead to 2020, 10 and then in 2021, 14. We haven’t released data for 2022 but we anticipate the same trend. That’s just too many deaths when we know it can be prevented.”

To increase prevention, they are working with Partnership to End Addiction to provide daily text messages that provide information on substance use and harm reduction.

“Anyone can sign up. I think community members looking for more information in understanding this topic area but in particular people who use substances,” Bird said.

You can also opt to get information about spikes in overdoses, which is three in a 24-hour period.

“Especially if you’re a loved one or someone who uses drugs, you can be more informed about your choices around it or protect that loved one. It’s considered an early warning sign,” Bird said.

And it’s really easy to sign up for these alerts on your phone, all you need to do is text ENDODNY to 55753 and it takes less than a minute to enroll.

Their outreach doesn’t end there. They’ve installed emergency boxes in county office buildings.

“In that kit are two doses of nasal spray,” Bird explained. “You’ve got rescue breathing, so a face shield to actually protect yourself. And then gloves and lots of different instructions.”

Information is power so this is their way to help reverse this deadly trend.