Author: General Arthur T. Dean, Chairman and CEO of Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA)
In recent weeks, CADCA and countless other organizations and individuals have shifted focus to respond to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Just as CADCA, the Rx Abuse Leadership Initiative (RALI) and others have joined forces to help address the opioid epidemic, we are now coming together to protect one another amidst the many new challenges related to the coronavirus.
In that spirit, we are sharing resources and reminders for staying healthy and managing stress during this difficult time. We recommend these tips provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
As many of us are home working to “flatten the curve” there are things we can do to continue to protect our family members from the opioid epidemic, which impacts so many in our nation.
How do we slow the spread of a crisis that has already touched every corner of our nation? Simply, we have to get ahead of it. We need to practice prevention at every level – and give people the tools they need to stop an addiction before it starts.
Since CADCA joined forces with RALI nearly two years ago, we have remained committed to this vision. Education about the early warning signs of substance use and misuse and proper storage and disposal of prescription medications have been a key part of our continued outreach in local communities.
We continue to encourage people to clean out their medicine cabinets and rid themselves of unused, unwanted, or expired medications. Many people who become addicted to opioids get their first doses from the medicine cabinets of friends and family members. Ordinary bathrooms and trash cans can become targets - causing leftover medicines to unfortunately make their way into the wrong hands. Secure storage and safe disposal of prescriptions is critical in stopping the deadly cycle of addiction.
Not only can you take this time to clean out your medicine cabinets, you can safely return unused prescriptions to secure locations like pharmacies and police stations, or safely dispose of unwanted medications at home. Visit raliusa.org for details on safe use, storage, and disposal. Help us keep our families and communities safe as best we can.