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RALI, Recovery Ohio & Ohio Assn. of Area Agencies on Aging unite to help reduce substance misuse

Thousands of free kits provided to safely dispose of unwanted, unused drugs

Columbus, OH – Senior housing centers throughout Ohio will distribute kits and information to promote safe disposal of unused prescription drugs.

Through a partnership with Recovery Ohio, the Ohio Association of Area Agencies on Aging (AAA), and the Rx Abuse Leadership Initiative of Ohio (RALI Ohio), disposal bags will be provided to senior citizens with guidance on the safe disposal of drugs, especially opioid medicines, that are no longer used or are outdated. RALI Ohio is providing supplies of disposal bags to each AAA region at no cost.

“Safe storage of currently used medications and disposal of unwanted drugs can reduce substance misuse in our communities,” said Alisha Nelson, Director of Recovery Ohio. “Recovery experts say that for some people, addiction started at home, when drugs prescribed for someone else were taken from a medicine cabinet and misused.”

“This initiative will encourage senior citizens and their families to look through the medicines they have, whether at a senior living complex or in their homes, and throw out unused drugs in a safe manner,” said Larke Recchie, Chief Executive Officer for the Association of Area Agencies on Aging. “Regrettably, the pandemic has not slowed down the rate of overdose and opioid misuse in our communities. Safe disposal of unused drugs is a way everyone can help in the effort to help communities respond to addiction.”

RALI Ohio has made this donation at the same time many senior housing centers are hosting COVID-19 vaccine clinics.

“We are proud to bring vaccines to the front door of those living in affordable senior housing centers across the state, a critical mission to ensure equity and access to Ohioans who might not otherwise have a chance to get vaccinated, whether their barrier is location, mobility, or access to care and education about the vaccine,” said Ursel J. McElroy, Ohio Department of Aging Director. “After receiving the vaccine, there is an opportunity to connect with people during the 15-minute observation period. This is the ideal time to provide a disposal kit, along with information on how important it is to safely dispose of unused, expired, or unwanted medication.”

More than 22,000 disposal kits have been sent to these AAA regional locations:

  1. Council on Aging Southwest Ohio

  2. AAA of Dayton

  3. AAA of Lima

  4. Area Office on Aging of Northwest Ohio (Toledo)

  5. Ohio District 5 AAA (North central Ohio)

  6. Central Ohio AAA

  7. AAA District 7 (Rio Grande, Central Southeast and Southern Ohio)

  8. Buckeye Hills Regional Council (Marietta, Southeast Ohio)

  9. AAA Region 9 (Cambridge, Eastern Ohio)

10a. Western Reserve AAA (Cleveland and Northeastern Ohio)

10b. Direction Home Akron Canton

11. Direction Home Eastern Ohio (Youngstown)

The disposal bags provide a safe way to throw away unused prescription medications. 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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