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Donation of 14,000 drug disposal bags given to Wadsworth Drug-Free Community Coalition

The Rx Abuse Leadership Initiative (RALI) announced a donation of 14,000 at-home drug deactivation pouches to the SafeRx Regional Collaborative at the Community Drug Prevention Celebration today.

Summit County Community Partnership (SCCP) along with its 70+ community partners celebrated two years of increasing safe disposal of unused prescription opiates through distributing 64k+ drug deactivation pouches. In January, SCCP brought together 11 organizations from the six counties which adjoin Summit County to focus on safe medicine usage, storage and disposal. This pilot project was funded by Prevention Action Alliance and Ohio Mental Health & Addiction Services. Each participating organization began or expanded strategically distributing drug deactivation pouches in their communities.

“The SafeRx Regional Collaborative’s pilot project period ended in September 2018. RALI’s donation of 14,000 drug deactivation pouches plays a significant role in helping sustain the collaborative’s work of reducing unused prescription opiates in a seven-county region” said Darryl A. Brake, Executive Director for Summit County Community Partnership.

Dick Davis of the Wadsworth Drug-Free Coalition agreed. “If those 14,000 pouches are used to capacity, they will safely dispose 630,000 prescription pills preventing them from being diverted for misuse and abuse. Everyone has a role to play in preventing opiate use disorder – cleaning out your medicine cabinet is one small, quick step you can take to make our community healthier & safer.”

According to the 2015 National Drug Control Strategy, “drug diversion contributes to non-medical opioid use. Proper storage and safe disposal are important as a means to secure opioids in the home and prevent them…from being used for non-medical reasons.”

“We are pleased to be able to provide this tool to the SafeRx Regional Collaborative,” said Jenny Camper, representative for RALI Ohio. “Working collaboratively with partners in Summit County and throughout Ohio will help our communities in their efforts to address addiction and opioid abuse. Encouraging citizens to clean out their medicine cabinet is a good way everyone can help to make a difference and we are happy to provide the resources for this effort.”

Members of the SafeRx Regional Collaborative shared the importance of distributing drug deactivation pouches.

“The drug disposal bags have helped us spread the message to our residents that we all can do something to prevent drug abuse in our community” said City of Green Mayor Gerard Neugebauer. “We have given out approximately 500-600 bags at various events over the past year or two. We have found that by handing someone a bag it makes it easy to start a conversation with them about addiction.”

“The Hudson community has benefited greatly from the SafeRx Regional Collaborative. The project encouraged Hudson residents to clean out medicine cabinets and participate in safe RX disposal. It has helped us raise awareness and reduce stigma.” Jamie Messenger, Drug Safe Hudson.

The organizations in the collaborative are:
Cuyahoga County
• Cuyahoga County Opiate Task Force
• Partnership for a Healthy North Royalton

Geauga County
• Lake-Geauga Recovery Center

Medina County
• Medina County Opiate Task Force
• Wadsworth Drug Free Coalition

Portage County
• Portage County Substance Abuse Community Coalition

Stark County
• Drug Free Stark

Summit County
• Drug Safe Hudson
• Green Drug Task Force
• Summit County Community Partnership

Wayne County
• Wayne County Opiate Task Force

The Community Drug Prevention Celebration was held at Summa Health’s Ann & David Brennan Critical Care Center on Thursday, October 25, 2018
**Rx Abuse Leadership Initiative Background Information**

The SafeRx Regional Collaborative has been in the news twice this week with mention of the RALI donation.  Special shout out to Karyn Kravetz for sending a press release from Portage County to the Record Courier!

The Rx Abuse Leadership Initiative (RALI) is a convening organization of community and advocacy leaders working to address our nation’s opioid crisis. With millions of Americans struggling with opioid addiction, RALI provides a platform to share best practices and information on prevention, treatment access (generally) and recovery. The initiative aims to transform today’s disparate and one-dimensional approach into a comprehensive solution that elevates the most effective programs. RALI engages a number of stakeholders, including anti-addiction groups, caregivers, patients, law enforcement, first responders, EMTs, labor unions, employers, health care providers, veterans and civic organizations, among others. We are committed to helping to implement programs that save lives and prevent the misuse of prescription opioids.

The Wadsworth Drug-Free Community Coalition exists to prevent, educate and support youth, adults and families on substance/drug abuse by providing resources and raising awareness in our community.

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