PRESS RELEASE: Safe drug disposal program expands statewide to help first responders fight opioid misuse
For Immediate Release
October 7, 2019
INDIANAPOLIS – Today Rx Abuse Leadership Initiative (RALI) Indiana announced the donation of 75,000 safe drug disposal pouches to help fire departments across the state in the fight against the opioid epidemic, bringing RALI’s total contribution to the Professional Firefighters Union of Indiana’s (PFFUI) safe drug disposal program to 100,000 pouches. The additional pouches were awarded due to the positive response and overwhelming demand to the 25,000 pouches donated in November 2018 to fire departments in the Indianapolis metropolitan area.
PFFUI will distribute the 75,000 safe drug disposal pouches to fire departments across the state in coming weeks and months. Please contact your local fire department to request a safe drug disposal pouch.
“Firefighters are often the first to respond to an opioid overdose, but we know prevention is one of the best ways to curb the opioid epidemic in Indiana,” said Tom Hanify, President of PFFUI. “This new donation from RALI will enable our fire departments to provide Hoosiers across the state with a free way to safely dispose of unused prescription medication.”
Since 1999, Indiana has lost more than 15,000 Hoosier lives to the opioid epidemic. [i]
In 2017, Governor Eric Holcomb appointed Jim McClelland Executive Director for Drug Prevention, Treatment and Enforcement to tackle this crisis on all fronts, including expanding addiction treatment, recruiting more medical providers trained in substance use and enhancing data-sharing to address the crisis. CDC data shows a 12% reduction in the number of drug overdose deaths in Indiana in 2018, compared to the previous year. [ii]
“Governor Holcomb has placed a high priority on prevention efforts to attack the drug crisis, while helping people avoid and recover from substance use disorder,” said Jim McClelland, Indiana executive director for drug prevention, treatment and enforcement. “By taking advantage of available tools to safely dispose of unneeded medications, you can protect your loved ones from overdose and help stop substance dependence before it starts.”
Launched in July 2018, RALI Indiana is a diverse coalition of business and community leaders, patient organizations and other health care stakeholders dedicated to finding and supporting solutions to end the opioid epidemic. RALI Indiana has partnered with PFFUI to address opioid misuse in Indiana, to educate communities about the importance of safe drug disposal and to oversee the distribution of drug disposal pouches.
For more information about RALI Indiana, the fight against Indiana’s opioid epidemic and how to safely dispose of unwanted medication, visit www.rali-in.org.
ABOUT RALI Indiana:
RALI Indiana is an alliance of local, state and national organizations committed to finding solutions to end the opioid crisis in Indiana. Partners of the coalition include:
· Accelerate Indiana Municipalities
· Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America
· Drug and Alcohol Coalition of Allen County
· Drug Free Marion County
· The National Grange
· Indiana Chamber
· Indiana Manufacturers Association
· Indiana Sheriffs’ Association
· National Black Nurses Association
· National Consumer League
· Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America
· Professional Firefighters Union of Indiana
· Trusted Mentors
· Wellness Council of Indiana