In recent weeks, we have watched as citizens in Iowa, across the country and around the world work tirelessly to prepare for and 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.
With so many of us staying home as much as possible to “flatten the curve” there are things we can do to continue to protect our family members from the opioid epidemic, which impacts thousands in our state alone.
As we are spending more time at home, now is a good time to take a close look at your medicine cabinet. During this time, it is important to make sure that you and your loved ones have the medications you need, but we should also take action to properly dispose of the rest. Any unwanted, 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. In times of crisis, people may fall back on unhealthy behaviors, but, armed with the right information, we can all be on the lookout for signs that point to a problem. 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. RALI Iowa now offers our RALI CARES program virtually, so anyone at any time can experience 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 rali-ia.org/rali-cares.
Our RALI partners are also sharing resources that can be helpful while remaining accessible to people at home. For example, the Iowa Pharmacy Association is hosting weekly webinars to answer questions and provide updates about COVID-19. Another partner, UCS Healthcare, is providing their regular meetings and events virtually. RALI Iowa will continue to share and highlight the work of our partners as we navigate this new normal together.
From all of us at RALI Iowa – we wish you good health and sincerely thank you for your efforts, now and into the future. Together, we can lift one another up to make a real difference in our communities today and every day.