For some time now, we have watched as our fellow residents and those across the country and world work tirelessly to respond to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Just as communities have rallied to support each other during the opioid epidemic, so too are we coming together to protect one another amidst the many new challenges posed by COVID-19. In that spirit, we are sharing resources and reminders for staying healthy during this difficult time.
Many people will experience anxiety and fear due to the novel coronavirus, so it’s important to learn ways to help people manage that stress. We recommend the tips provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which are available here. Our partner NAMI Washington also has COVID-related information that can help available at namiwa.org
With so many of us staying home as much as possible during social distancing, there are things we can do to continue to protect our family members from the opioid epidemic, which impacts thousands in our state alone.
It’s a good time to take a close look at your medicine cabinets. During this time, it is important to make sure that you and your loved ones have the medications you need, but we should also make sure that medications are kept secure – especially from children – and that any unused medicines are properly disposed. Any unused, or expired medications left in the home can be potentially dangerous to close family and friends. RALI provides resources and tips on how to safely use, store, and dispose of prescriptions in your home to prevent misuse and addiction. For more information, please click the “Safe Disposal” tab on the homepage of this website.
It is also important during this time to stay vigilant and learn to recognize the warning signs of substance misuse. If you are spending more time at home, take a moment to look around for things that seem out of place and keep an eye on the physical appearance and behavior of your loved ones. Clicking the “warning signs” tab on the homepage of this site will offer some tips of what to look out for.
RALI Oregon now offers our RALI CARES program virtually, so anyone at any time can experience a virtual example of a bedroom that is filled with hidden “red flags” of addiction. Understanding the signs of addiction can help improve outcomes for people struggling with substance use disorders. To explore the virtual experience for yourself, visit raliwa.org/rali-cares.
RALI and our partners wish you all good health and safety during this challenging time. Thank you for your efforts to help “flatten the curve” of COVID-19 and continue our efforts to address opioid misuse and addiction across Washington.