solutions to the

opioid epidemic 

in Illinois

Learn how you can help address the opioid crisis from home.

In 2016, there were 1,947 overdose deaths

due to opioids in Illinois. From 1999 to 2016, opioid-related overdose deaths in the state nearly quadrupled.

The crisis affects every community in our state.



RALI Illinois and its partners are coming together with leaders across the state to change this. 


Our work focuses on raising awareness of the warning signs of opioid misuse and providing tools to enable the safe disposal of unused prescription medicines.

We are also supporting a broad range of solutions focused on preventing and treating opioid addiction, and providing recovery services for those in need.



We are proud to work with organizations across the state who are having an impact on the opioid epidemic in Illinois.  


Learn more about our RALI Illinois partners by clicking on the images below.

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The Midwest Business Group on Health (MBGH), one of the nation’s leading non-profit employer coalitions, helps businesses manage chronic pain among employees. Click here for their toolkit.

The Illinois Academy of Family Physicians’ Safe Prescriber Program helps doctors practice appropriate  pain management. Read about the program here.

We want to hear about organizations, events and individuals making a difference in your community.  Tell us about them by filling out a short form.



Everyone can help prevent prescription drug misuse by safely using, storing and disposing of medications.  

Safely use

Always talk to your

doctor about how to

use a prescription

medication before

taking it


Be sure to follow dosing recommendations


Don't mix medications without first checking 

with your doctor

Never mix prescription opioids with alcohol

Don’t take someone

else’s medication

Safely store

Always keep


medications in a

locked or secure place –

and always out of the

reach of children

Have a family

conversation about

the dangers of

misusing prescription medication

Never share

medications with

family members

Safely dispose

Once finished using a prescription

medication as directed

by a medical

professional, safely

dispose of it rather than

keep it in your medicine

cabinet for future use

There are several ways

to easily and safely

dispose of unused

medications right at



Learn more below...

One of the best things we can all do to help address the opioid crisis in our state is to safely dispose of
unused prescriptions medications.

There are several simple options for safe disposal:


You can visit a take

back center in your community. 

Click HERE to find locations in Illinois.


You can use a home disposal kit. You’ll put unused medications in the included pouch, add water, seal and dispose of it in the trash.


You can use household materials to dispose of your unused medications.

Mix your medicines with kitty litter or old coffee grounds in an airtight container and dispose of it in your trash can.

Visit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration website or talk to your doctor about the disposal method best suited for the medication you have been prescribed.



If someone you know has started misusing opioids, early intervention is important. Learning the warning signs of opioid addiction can help protect family, friends and communities.

Physical and behavioral changes could indicate someone is misusing prescription opioids or illegal drugs, like heroin or fentanyl.

Common signs of opioid misuse:



Unexplained absences from school or work

Drop in grades or performance at work

Loss of interest in


Spending less time with friends or family

Hanging out with a new friend group


Indicators in

the Home:

Missing prescription medications

Empty pill bottles

Paraphernalia, such as syringes, shoe laces or rubber hose, kitchen spoons, aluminum foil, straws, lighters




Increase in fatigue or drowsiness

Rapid weight loss

Frequent constipation or nausea

Decline in personal hygiene

Wearing long sleeves regardless of the season


Spotting warning signs in teenagers can be particularly hard because young people go through many emotional and physical changes.

If you suspect a loved one is misusing opioids, there are resources that can help you prepare for a conversation with them. It’s also important to talk to your family doctor about prevention and treatment options.

•    Partnership for Drug-Free Kids
•    Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA)

December 17, 2019

November 8, 2019

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