State Leaders in Illinois' Metro East Launch Comprehensive Effort to Help Address the Opioid Cri

(Belleville, IL) – Today, local leaders in combatting the opioid crisis joined with state and national organizations to announce the formation of the Rx Abuse Leadership Initiative (RALI) of Illinois. The broad-based alliance brings together more than health care, law enforcement, veteran, community, and drug prevention organizations to address the opioid epidemic in Illinois. RALI Illinois will bring a collaborative, multi-dimensional approach to the crisis through support for effective prevention, treatment and recovery programs.

RALI Illinois will initially focus on proper storage and disposal of prescription medications, which can help prevent misuse. The alliance will provide educational materials and tools to help reduce the misuse of unused medicines in the home. This is especially important because research has found that 60 percent of Americans who are prescribed opioid painkillers keep leftover medication in their medicine cabinet.

“The opioid epidemic is going to take a comprehensive approach that employs multiple strategies and many stakeholders to address it,” said General Arthur T. Dean, chairman and CEO of Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA). “We view our partnership with RALI Illinois as a model for how communities can enhance local primary prevention efforts and increase awareness about the dangers of substance use and misuse. By working together, we can build safe and healthy drug-free communities.”

As part of its launch, RALI Illinois will present 50,000 drug disposal pouches to partners and organizations who will distribute them to residents free of charge. The pouches are among the FDA-approved methods for disposing of unused medicines.

“On the front lines of the addiction crisis every day, law enforcement personnel know how important it is that we take a comprehensive approach to the opioid epidemic,” said Jim Kaitschuk, executive director of the Illinois Sheriffs’ Association. “We need to employ strategies that stop addiction before it starts, and proper disposal of medications is a key part of that.”

In addition to providing disposal pouches throughout the state, RALI Illinois will offer community grants to organizations dedicated to prevention and treatment of substance use disorders.

To learn more about RALI Illinois, visit www.rali-il.org.

About RALI Illinois:

RALI Illinois is an alliance of 20 local, state and national organizations working to elevate solutions to the state’s opioid crisis. Members include:

Addiction Policy Forum

The BASE Chicago

Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA)

Community – The Anti-Drug

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

Hoyleton Youth & Family Services

Illinois Academy of Family Physicians

Illinois Grange

Illinois Pharmacists Association

Illinois Sheriffs’ Association

Link Together

Midwest Business Group on Health

National Black Nurses Association

National Consumers League

National Grange

National Sheriffs’ Association

Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA)

Veterans Against Drugs

Veterans Health Council

Vietnam Veterans of America

West Garfield Park Community Stakeholders

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

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