For immediate release
December 1, 2020
Seattle, WA – The Rx Abuse Leadership Initiative (RALI) of Washington donated 1,600 safe drug disposal pouches to Lifelong’s Food and Nutrition Program, Chicken Soup Brigade, which serves more than 2,000 meals and groceries weekly to impoverished residents across Washington living with chronic and serious illnesses.
The donation comes in advance of World AIDS Day and Giving Tuesday on Dec. 1 – to support those living with HIV, commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness, and empower our communities with the impact of giving. According to the Washington State Department of Health, 1 in 4 people living with HIV in Washington needed or used a shelter in the last year, pointing to the higher risk of new HIV cases among homeless populations.
Throughout November, Chicken Soup Brigade recipients received a drug disposal pouch included with their deliveries to safely dispose of unused or expired opioids. Too often, mishandling of opioids leads to unintentional ingestion or substance abuse. During COVID-19, the latest evidence indicates that the opioid crisis has worsened, with alarming increases in drug overdoses in King County and across the state. RALI works across Washington to combat the opioid epidemic by raising awareness of safe disposal practices to prevent substance misuse. Partners like Lifelong are key to distributing these resources to the communities they serve.
“We are committed to doing everything we can to ensure the safety of our communities, and we are thrilled to partner with RALI Washington to raise awareness and promote the safe disposal of prescription drugs,” said Claire Neal, Lifelong CEO. “As we spend more time at home, it’s important to safely dispose of unneeded opioids as a first step to reduce the risk of unintended exposure or misuse.”
The safe disposal pouches are made by Deterra Drug Deactivation System and comprised of a charcoal substance that renders unwanted, unneeded prescription drugs ineffective for misuse and safe for disposal and the environment.
As the only medically-tailored meal providers in the Northwest, Lifelong’s Chicken Soup Brigade program incorporates foods that support health and foster comfort for those living with serious health conditions. On a quarterly basis, staff and volunteers deliver home essential kits that include basic cleaning and hygiene supplies such as: soap, bathroom tissues, sponges, and other essential items that homebound residents may have difficulty getting on their own.
Lifelong’s tailored meals accommodate diets including heart-healthy, low-sodium, allergen, medical diet options, as well as alternatives for those with difficulty chewing or swallowing. The program also extends support with nutritional counseling and education as well as culturally appropriate groceries to serve families with diverse backgrounds.
RALI Washington is continuing to raise awareness about the importance of safe disposal and to share more information around the state, especially during the holiday season. Individuals can try at home options such as mixing medicines with kitty litter or old coffee grounds in an airtight container and dispose of it in the trash. Washington residents can also visit a drug takeback center within their community, locations can be found here.
Potential partners interested in receiving kits can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rx ABUSE LEADERSHIP INITIATIVE (RALI) of WASHINGTON:
RALI Washington brings together local, state and national organizations representing healthcare stakeholders, veterans, industry leaders, and other community partners. In addition to safe disposal, the organization will work together to find solutions and share best practices for prevention, treatment and recovery related to prescription drug misuse. Local partners include: NAMI Washington, Washington Recovery Alliance, National Black Nurses Association, Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, Code 3 Association, Generations United, National Consumers League, Veterans Health Council, Vietnam Veterans of America, Veterans Against Drugs, Grange, PhRMA, National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs, Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle, International Union of Operating Engineers, KDNA Radio.
Additional Information Contact:
Lifelong removes barriers to health with relentless compassion so that no one faces illness and injustice alone. As a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization serving the Pacific Northwest, with service centers in Bellingham, Everett, Bellevue, and Seattle, Lifelong’s services include access to nutritious food through home deliveries of prepared meals and groceries, safe and stable housing options, and health access and connection through case management, insurance support, and dental care for individuals living with serious and chronic health conditions. They also provide sexual health services aimed to reduce and eliminate the spread of HIV.
ABOUT CHICKEN SOUP BRIGADE:
Lifelong’s Food and Nutrition Program, Chicken Soup Brigade, serves more than 1,500 neighbors in need throughout Washington State each week and is the only medically-tailored meal providers in the Northwest. The program also provides nutrition counseling and education, culturally appropriate grocery and produce bags to bring comfort through food to more diverse cultures and backgrounds, and home essential kits with basic cleaning and hygiene supplies, such as soap, bathroom tissue, sponges, and other items homebound clients may have difficulty getting on their own.
ABOUT MEDICALLY-TAILORED MEALS:
Medically-tailored meals incorporate foods that support health and foster comfort for people with serious and life-threatening health conditions. Diets include heart-healthy, low-sodium, allergen and medical diet options, as well as options for those with difficulty chewing or swallowing. Medically-tailored meals are shown to improve people’s health while reducing medical costs.