The Rx Abuse Leadership Initiative (RALI) of Colorado is an alliance of local, state and national partners who are coming together around one shared purpose: addressing the opioid crisis.
According to latest numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were 536 opioid-related deaths in Colorado in 2016.
In order to help tackle these numbers, we must educate individuals and families on the realities of the opioid crisis and provide them with the resources and tools needed to prevent substance misuse.
RALI Colorado is helping to support a number of programs that span prevention, treatment and recovery from opioid addiction. Initially, we are focused on providing tools for the safe disposal of unused and expired prescription medicines and raising awareness around the warning signs of opioid misuse.
Two important resources available to all Coloradans are:
Colorado Crisis Services: a statewide resource for mental health, substance use or emotional crisis help, information and referrals, available to all Coloradans by phone, text, online chat, and drop-in locations.
Take Meds Seriously: a Colorado website resource that includes information about permanent drop-off locations for safe disposal of unused prescription medications statewide.
LEADERS MAKING A DIFFERENCE
As an organization, we represent a wide variety of communities that are impacted by this crisis, including
employers, veterans, children, health care providers and law enforcement, among others.
Click on the logos to learn more about the diverse group of partners that comprised RALI Colorado.
If you know of organizations, events or individuals making a difference in your community,
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Everyone can help prevent prescription drug misuse by safely using, storing and disposing of medications.
SAFE USE & DISPOSAL
You can use household materials to dispose of your unused medications. All you have to do is mix your medicines with kitty litter or old coffee grounds in an airtight container and dispose of it in your trash can.
You can visit a drug takeback center in your community.
You can use a home disposal kit – just put unused medications in the included pouch, add water, seal and dispose of it in the trash.
When finished using a
prescription medication as directed by a medical
professional, you should
safely dispose of it rather
than keep it in your medicine cabinet for future use.
Below are several ways to easily and safely dispose of unused medications.
Always keep prescription 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.
Always talk to your doctor about how to use a prescription medication before taking it.
Be sure to follow dosing recommendations closely.
Don't mix medications without first checking with your doctor.
Never mix prescription opioids with alcohol.
Don't take someone
If someone you know has started misusing opioids, early intervention is important. Learning the warning signs of opioid addiction can help protect your 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:
INDICATORS IN THE HOME
Increase in fatigue or drowsiness
Unexplained absences from school or work
Missing prescription medications
Rapid weight loss
Drop in grades or performance at work
Empty pill bottles
Frequent constipation or nausea
Loss of interest in hobbies
Paraphernalia, such as syringes, shoe laces or rubber hose, kitchen spoons, aluminum foil, straws, lighters
Decline in personal hygiene
Spending less time with friends or family
Wearing long sleeves regardless of the season
Hanging out with a new friend group
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.