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RALI Ohio Donates 2,000 Drug Disposal Kits to Healing Communities Study in Athens County

Kits help to safely dispose of unwanted, unused drugs to help reduce substance misuse

For Immediate Release: Athens, OH – The Rx Abuse Leadership Initiative of Ohio (RALI Ohio) has partnered with the HEALing Communities Study, currently underway in Athens and southeast Ohio, to provide resources that will help local residents safely dispose of unwanted, unused, or expired prescription drugs.

RALI Ohio will provide 2,000 drug disposal bags to the HEALing Communities Study, to support its investigation of tools used to prevent opioid and substance misuse at the local level. The Study is part of a national research initiative sponsored by the NIH and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The comprehensive study will examine the impact of prevention, overdose treatment, and medication-based treatment in a coordinated array of settings, including health care, behavioral health, and criminal justice settings.

“The disposal kits from RALI Ohio will contribute to the prevention part of our comprehensive initiative,” said Brad Sutterfield, Intervention Facilitator for Athens County and the HEALing Communities Study. “Substance misuse must be addressed on multiple fronts and safe disposal is part of this effort.”

“We know some people who struggle with addiction got their start by misusing prescription drugs they found at home,” said Kendra Green, Athens County Community Engagement Facilitator for the Study. “When people clean out their medicine cabinets, and safely throw away drugs they no longer use, it helps in our overall efforts to reduce addiction and substance misuse.”

The HEALing Communities Study plans to distribute disposal kits at no cost through several local agencies including the Athens County Public Library, where visitors may obtain a bag through the library’s current curbside service. In addition, local substance use and prevention coalitions, Athens HOPE and the Athens Opiate Task Force will distribute kits and work with local recovery centers on distribution as well. Local pharmacies, starting with Shrivers Pharmacy and Wellness Center may also join the effort to distribute disposal kits.

“We need to address drug addiction on many fronts, from supporting our first responders and recovery providers, to helping families reduce the potential for substance misuse in their homes,” said State Senator Frank Hoagland. “RALI Ohio has provided thousands of disposal kits across Ohio and this donation will strengthen our local efforts to reduce addiction and misuse.”

“We encourage all residents to play a part in helping to reduce overdoses and addiction,” said State Rep. Jay Edwards. “Secure storage of medicines currently in use, and disposing of unwanted or outdated medicines, will help reduce the chance for substance misuse. The donation from RALI Ohio will help the HEALing Communities Study in their mission to reduce overdose deaths.”

The disposal bags provide a safe way to throw away unused prescription medication. The bags can hold pills, liquids, or patches and after adding water, the pouch is sealed and can be disposed of safely in a household trash can. The medicine is deactivated and unable to be misused.

RALI Ohio is a diverse alliance of medical and patient groups, addiction prevention and education organizations, recovery providers, and advocates. RALI Ohio offers educational resources from national and Ohio-based experts. Visit ralioh.org for more information.

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About RALI Ohio: The Rx Abuse Leadership Initiative (RALI) of Ohio is an alliance of local, state, and national organizations committed to addressing the epidemic of substance misuse in the state through support for effective education, prevention, treatment, and recovery programs.

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RALI Ohio is an alliance of local, state and national organizations elevating solutions to the opioid epidemic in the state.

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