On February 6, an alliance of local, state, and national organizations came together to launch the Rx Abuse Leadership Initiative (RALI) of Ohio. RALI Ohio will address the challenges and needs of the state’s opioid and substance misuse epidemic through a diverse partnership that includes health care, business, veterans, farmers, community, and drug prevention organizations. RALI Ohio will support effective prevention, education, treatment, and recovery programs. By partnering with a broad range of leading groups, RALI Ohio aims to reach people in every part of the state.
“The opioid epidemic is going to take a comprehensive approach that employs multiple strategies to create population-level reductions to this problem,” said General Arthur T. Dean, chairman & CEO of Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA). “CADCA has always focused on primary prevention and it hopes its partnership with RALI Ohio will be a model for other organizations and communities of how to not only enhance local prevention efforts, but also increase community awareness about the dangers of substance use and misuse. Together we can build safe and healthy drug-free communities.”
In the months leading up to the launch, RALI Ohio worked closely with its partners to identify gaps in support for vital programs that help those struggling with substance use disorder and those at risk for opioid misuse. Based on these learnings, the partnership began educating communities about proper disposal options for unused medications, providing tools to facilitate in-home disposal, and raising awareness of addiction prevention and education programs led by organizations throughout the state. Moving forward, RALI Ohio will continue to build on this foundation of support in partnership with its member organizations.
“We are energized by the collaborative approach RALI Ohio brings to fighting this epidemic because we know that no one group is going to solve this,” said Cheri Walters, CEO for the Ohio Association of County Behavioral Health Authorities. “The resources RALI Ohio has provided have already helped us reach Ohioans in new ways. We’re engaging community members in important discussions, increasing awareness about this crisis, and discussing the role they can play in preventing dependency. We look forward to working with all the RALI Ohio partners to make a real and lasting impact in our communities.”
“As a father who lost his son to an opioid overdose, I am committed to doing whatever I can to prevent other families from enduring that kind of loss,” said Travis Bornstein, founder of Hope United. “By bringing together leaders who are on the front lines of this crisis and cultivating meaningful partnerships, RALI Ohio will accomplish a great deal for our families and communities who are struggling with addiction.”
To learn more about RALI Ohio, visit www.ralioh.org. The Ohio Academy of Family Physicians attended the program launch and is partnering with other professional and advocacy organizations who, along with RALI Ohio, are fighting against opioid addiction and substance abuse.