September is often seen as the transition between summer and fall. It brings us the last few days of sun and heat as the winter begins to take hold. Although these changes do make September rather notable, it is particularly special to me because it is National Recovery Month.
Our state, along with the rest of the nation, has been experiencing a recurring and substantial increase in opioid-related overdose deaths for quite some time. In fact, the number of these deaths nearly quadrupled from 1999 to 2016. In 2020, Illinois reported over 3,500 opioid-related overdose deaths.
In the face of such daunting statistics, it can be easy to become discouraged. However, this crisis is unique because each of us has the power to help bring it to an end.
The best way to do this is learning. Education is at the core of our mission at the Massac County Drug Awareness Coalition (MCDAC).
This September, I would ask everyone to take a few moments to learn about these issues. Your improved understanding and awareness could have the potential to save someone’s life.
Another phenomenal resource for those looking to support Illinois’ fight against the opioid crisis is the Rx Abuse Leadership Initiative of Illinois (RALI).
With a focus on prevention, RALI offers education on the proper use, storage and disposal of prescription medications, as well as how to spot the warning signs of addiction. The RALI CARES program is an exhibit that teaches parents how to recognize indications of substance abuse in the home. Recently, it was converted into a virtual tour and is now available on their website.
Whether September makes you think about the end of summer or the beginning of fall, we can all remember it as National Recovery Month. With that in mind, I would like to urge everyone to visit massacdrugawareness.com to learn about our efforts in Massac County, as well as rali-il.org to explore some of the resources that they provide for our state.
Further, I would invite the public to attend our monthly MCDAC meetings which are the third Wednesday of each month at 8 a.m. at Metropolis City Hall.
Massac County Drug Awareness Coalition
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