New coalition aims to fight opioid epidemic in Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Business and community leaders will be joined by Indiana State Senator Jim Merritt and Indiana Executive Director of Drug Enforcement Treatment and Prevention Jim McClelland to announce a new coalition Tuesday morning to fight the state’s opioid epidemic. 

The coalition is called Rx Abuse Leadership Initiative Indiana or RALI for short. 

RALI plans to provide new resources and education to organizations and communities. 

One of the ways they hope to do that is through grants. 

The coalition’s first grant is going to the  Indiana Chamber and Wellness Council of Indiana’s Workforce Recovery Initiative, created earlier this year to understand how the opioid epidemic is impacting employers. 

The goal of the Indiana Workforce Recovery Initiative is to get employers from around the state together.and educate them on what the opioid epidemic really is and to provide them with some tools and resources to change the way they think about the opioid epidemic in their workplace. 

“What we know is that the opioid epidemic is happening in many of our towns and communities but employers are still left wondering but what does it mean to me and how do I need to take this information and be impactful and help my employee,” said Wellness Council of Indiana Executive Director Jennifer Pferrer. 

Along with the grants, RALI will be giving out thousands of safe drug disposal kits. 

Some of the organizations involved in this initiative are the Indiana Chamber, Drug Free Marion County, and the Indiana Sheriffs’ Association to name a few. 

“Not one person, not one entity, not one government body can be responsible for killing heroin, and the opioid crisis is enormous it affects everyone, it’s going to take every community volunteer, every community leader, every government entity, every community business, every retail outlet, everyone has to be a part of this,” said State Senator Jim Merritt. 

The formal announcement of the coalition will be made at 10 a.m. at the Indiana Chamber. 

For more information on RALI, visit their website.