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The next weapon in the fight against opioid addiction might be in your pocket.

Fighting the opioid crisis will take a variety of tools—but one St. Louis company says we already use one of them everyday.
Credit: diego_cervo / Thinkstock

St. Louis, Mo. — It wasn’t too long ago that SMS messaging was considered revolutionary, but texting is now thought of as a simple technology—and the driving force behind Epharmix, a company putting cell phones to work in the fight against the opioid epidemic.

Epharmix is a text-based service that allows patients to text information to their doctors while also answering questions about their own health and habits.

“We on the technology side meet patients where they are,” said Jason Roche of Epharmix. “They don’t necessarily want to call up their provider and let them know that they’re feeling the urge to use. And so they feel like they can text message them and let them know, and receive help when they do need it, then it’s a really powerful connection between the patient and the doctor.”

Their research, done with several local partners including Washington University, found that addiction patients reported less opioid use while enrolled in the texting program. It was recently published by the New England Journal of Medicine.

Epharmix also focuses on other chronic conditions and diseases and is based in the Cortex Innovation District.

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