Safe drug disposal program helps fight misuse
For Immediate Release:
COLUMBUS, OH – While Ohioans continue to work through the challenges presented by COVID-19, the Rx Abuse Leadership Initiative (RALI) of Ohio announced a partnership with the VA Central Ohio Healthcare System to provide hundreds of in-home drug disposal pouches to healthcare system to distribute through several locations, including its community-based outpatient clinics and its off-site behavioral health area.
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. Safely storage and disposal of prescription drugs is essential to fighting drug misuse.
“Many of us are already working diligently to get through the pandemic, but it is important to remember that there are things we can do to continue to protect our family members from the opioid crisis, even while limiting activity” said Gary Stofle, Division Director, Recovery Services, VA Central Ohio Healthcare System. “This donation by RALI Ohio of safe drug disposal kits serves as a best practice of community partnerships.”
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.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2018, Ohio had the fourth highest rate of drug overdose deaths in the country. Opioids were the main driver of those deaths. The opioid crisis is straining individuals, families, and communities across the state.
“Now is a good time to take a look at your medicine cabinet and dispose of medications that are expired or no longer needed,” said State Senator Frank Hoagland, chair of the Ohio Senate Veterans and Public Safety Committee. “Too often, home medicine cabinets play a role in potential addiction. 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.”
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.