Parents from Sandwich had an opportunity recently to attend an event that provided insight into how today’s teens and young adults hide drug use. Through a partnership with the Rx Abuse Leadership Initiative of Illinois (RALI-IL), Code 3 Association, and the Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), State Representative Tom Demmer (R-Dixon) hosted a stop of the RALI CARES educational trailer at Sandwich High School on October 9.
“Communities across Illinois have been impacted by the opioid crisis,” said Demmer. “In 2017 alone, over 70,000 individuals lost their lives from drug overdoses, and the overwhelming majority of those deaths involved opioid abuse.”
The RALI CARES exhibit is a traveling trailer staged as a teen bedroom and bathroom. Adults who visit the trailer can participate in a hands-on guided tour, where seemingly harmless items are pointed out as red flags for drug use or abuse. Warning signs and potential areas of concern are discussed, and experts answer parents’ questions as they move through the exhibit.
“Visitors walked away with a greater understanding of how young people hide or disguise their drug use,” Demmer said. “By educating parents in what to look for, misuse or abuse of drugs can be identified early and lives can be saved.”
Demmer encourages all people who have be prescribed opioid medication to follow dosage directions closely, to store the medication out of reach of children, and to safely dispose of unused medications rather than leaving them in a medicine cabinet. “October 26 is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, and on this date local people can drop unused medications off at the Sandwich Police Department between the hours of 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM. Other drop-off locations throughout the state can be found by visiting takebackday.dea.gov.”
To learn more about RALI-IL and the RALI CARES trailer, visit http://rali-il.org.