A group called Rx Abuse Leadership Initiative (RALI) Indiana is giving a $50,000 grant to address the state’s opioid crisis. City and town officials can apply for a portion of the money to address and prevent opioid misuse in their communities.
RALI was founded earlier this year by businesses, local leaders and health professionals hoping to tackle opioid issues across the state.
Indiana Drug Prevention, Treatment and Enforcement executive director Jim McClelland attended Thursday’s announcement in Lafayette.
“It adds to the resources that we have available to attack this epidemic and to help other people from developing substance abuse disorders,” says McClelland.
In attendance with McClelland, Accelerate Indiana Municipalities (AIM) CEO Matt Greller, says his organization will manage the grant.
“Our program as Jim mentioned, will seek to work with as many communities as possible by distributing grants in the range of $2,500 to $5,000 to cities and towns across Indiana,” says Greller.
He recognizes the money won’t pay for much, but he hopes the cash can provide some insight and help share lessons between cities.
“Yeah it’s not a ton of money, of course, but it is a first ever start for us,” says Greller. “It’s an opportunity for a handful of cities and towns around the state to jumpstart their efforts to combat the epidemic, so we can stretch that amount money as far as it’ll go to again, make a dent in this issue facing the state.”
RALI Indiana, along with the grant money, giving 20,000 pouches containing a chemical that can neutralize pills, liquids and patches when mixed with water. This then allows the pouches and inside contents to be safely thrown away in the trash.
Communities may already have drug takeback programs, but Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski says the pouches will give people another option to dispose of unwanted drugs.
“Some people don’t want to come to a police station or they don’t want to come to a drop off site,” he says. “These pouches here allow you to open them up, put your drugs in, mix it with water, they dissolve, then you can just throw them away in your trash so you don’t have to leave your home. It’ll be much more convenient.”
If the pouches gain popularity in Lafayette, Roswarski says he would look into getting more for the community.
RALI Indiana awarded $25,000 in July to Indiana's Workforce Recovery Initiative and has since awarded other groups across the state with money and/or drug disposal pouches.