Leaders Making a Difference
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2017, 530 Oregon residents died from drug overdose – many of those related to illegal opioids like fentanyl and heroin. Overdose rates continue to climb across the country and in our state.
Too often, addiction to illegal opioids begins with misuse of prescription medications. We must come together to end this cycle and help individuals and families who are struggling and provide communities with resources to prevent substance misuse.
Local, state and national organizations working to address the substance misuse and opioid epidemic are
partners of RALI Oregon. We represent communities across our state that have been impacted by this crisis
including employers, veterans, children, rural Oregonians, health care providers and law enforcement, among others.
Learn more about the RALI Oregon partners by clicking on the logos below.
If you know of organizations, events or individuals making a difference in your community, we want to hear about them. Fill out this short form.
Safe Use & Disposal
You can help prevent prescription drug misuse by learning more about safe use, storage, and disposal of medications.
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 else's medication.
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.
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. Visit the Food and Drug Administration website or talk to your doctor about the disposal method best suited for your medication
One of the best things we can all do to help address the opioid crisis in our state is to safely dispose of unneeded prescription medications. There are several options:
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.
Click HERE to find locations in Oregon
You can use a home disposal kit – you’ll put unused medications in the included pouch,
add water, seal and dispose of it in the trash.
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:
Increase in fatigue or drowsiness
Rapid weight loss
Frequent constipation or nausea
Decline in personal hygiene
Wearing long sleeves regardless of the season
Unexplained absences from school or work
Drop in grades or performance at work
Loss of interest in hobbies
Spending less time with friends or family
Hanging out with a new friend group
Indicators in the Home
Missing prescription medications
Empty pill bottles
Paraphernalia, such as syringes, shoe laces or rubber hose, kitchen spoons, aluminum foil, straws, lighters
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.