Safe drug disposal program helps fight misuse
COLUMBUS, OH – With cases of overdose deaths increasing this past year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Rx Abuse Leadership Initiative (RALI) of Ohio announced a partnership to provide the American Legion Department of Ohio hundreds of in-home drug disposal kits to distribute to its members.
The kits are used to dispose of unused, unwanted, or expired medications. Addiction to opioids can start with a prescription being brought inside the home. Proper storage and disposal of prescription drugs is essential to fighting drug misuse.
“With the rising number of overdoses, it is essential that Ohioans safely store and dispose of their prescription medications,” said Jean Wilson, Commander of the American Legion Department of Ohio. “We know that prescription medications falling into the wrong hands is a major contributor to addiction. Prevention is the best medicine.”
State Representative Phil Plummer congratulated RALI Ohio and the American Legion on their partnership. “Unfortunately, Ohio has seen a tremendous increase in addiction and overdose deaths this past year. Providing safe at-home disposal options for Ohioans is a step in the right direction to ensure medications are not misused. Safely disposing of unused, unwanted or expired medications can help prevent a child, loved one or friend from misusing medicines that were not prescribed to them.”
Opioid-related deaths have surged in Ohio during the pandemic according to a recent study by a task force appointed by the Ohio Attorney General. The study found the death rate in Ohio from opioid overdose at 11.01 per 100,000 population in the second quarter of 2020 – the highest rate in 10 years. A recent report by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) showed that in Ohio, there were 5,215 overdose deaths in 2020 compared to the 4,219 in 2019. The jump represents a 21.9% increase in the state. The organization also said Ohio's numbers are underreported due to incomplete data.
For more information about RALI Ohio, the fight against Ohio’s opioid epidemic and how to safely dispose of unwanted medication, visit www.ralioh.org.
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.