FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 25, 2018
Firefighters, Baltimore Ministers Join Forces for
National Prescription Drug Take Back Day
RALI Maryland Launches Public Outreach Campaign to Raise Awareness
Baltimore, MD – Ahead of National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, local firefighters of the Professional Fire Fighters of Maryland and the Ministers' Conference of Baltimore and Vicinity, both members of the Rx Abuse Leadership Initiative (RALI) of Maryland, joined forces to promote the safe dispose of unused prescription medications. National Prescription Drug Take Back Day takes place Saturday, October 27.
Every day in Maryland, lives are lost due to overdoses involving prescription opioids and, increasingly, illicit fentanyl. In 2016 alone, 1,821 Marylanders died from opioid overdoses. RALI Maryland, the local firefighters of the Professional Fire Fighters of Maryland and the Ministers' Conference of Baltimore and Vicinity are committed to raising awareness throughout the Baltimore area about the need to properly dispose of unused medications to help prevent misuse.
Rev. Dr. Alvin Hathaway, Sr. Pastor at Union Baptist Church and a leader of the Ministers' Conference of Baltimore and Vicinity, said, “Opioid misuse is running rampant through our communities. We all have loved ones who have been impacted, and our ministry wants to do its part to find solutions. Bringing unused medications to take back locations this Saturday is a first step, but there’s so much more to be done. This is an important initiative that we need to raise with our parishioners.”
Dickie Alteri, President of the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 734, said, “Our firefighters are on the front lines of this epidemic. They see some of the worst situations you can imagine. National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is like changing the batteries on your smoke detectors twice a year – we need to make a habit of it. This Saturday is a great time to start that habit as it’s something we can all do to help end this crisis.”
Bishop J. L. Carter, President of the Ministers' Conference of Baltimore and Vicinity, stated, “The members of the Baltimore ministers' conference are committed to raising awareness within our congregations and the communities we serve. We encourage everyone to participate in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, but our efforts to educate the public on this important issue will continue well beyond this weekend.”
In advance of National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, RALI Maryland launched a media campaign, which includes public service announcements, print advertising and social media outreach, to raise awareness and encourage individuals to participate. For more information about National Take Back Day, visitwww.ralimd.org/take-back-day.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration hosts National Prescription Drug Take Back Day twice a year to help communities across the country safely dispose of their unused medications. At a time when individuals and families are seeking ways to properly dispose of their unused opioids, these two dates present an important opportunity to take action.
About RALI Maryland The Rx Abuse Leadership Initiative (RALI) Maryland is an alliance of more than 20 local, state and national organizations that are committed to finding solutions to end the opioid crisis in the state. Members of the coalition include:
• Addiction Policy Forum • Beloved Community Services Corporation • Ministers' Conference of Baltimore and Vicinity • Cecil County Community Drug Coalition • Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America • Hospice & Palliative Care Network of Maryland • Maryland Association of Chain Drug Stores • Maryland Chamber of Commerce • Maryland Fraternal Order of Police • Maryland Hospital Association • Maryland Pharmacists Association • Maryland REALTORS • Maryland Rural Health Association • Maryland State Grange • MedChi, the Maryland State Medical Society • National Black Nurses Association • National Consumers League • Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America • Professional Fire Fighters of Maryland • Southern Baptist Church • Union Baptist Church • Veterans Health Council • Vets Against Drugs • Vietnam Veterans of America
CONTACT: Rick Abbruzzese, 410-790-5002 Beth Levine, 443-812-4871