DUBLIN, Ohio, April 26, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- As part of its ongoing commitment to prevent prescription drug misuse, the Cardinal Health Foundation encourages the public to participate in National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday, April 29, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event, hosted by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), aims to help prevent medication abuse and theft by providing a safe, easy and anonymous way of getting unused, unwanted or expired prescription drugs out of the home.
"Proper medication disposal is one of the simplest and most effective ways for anyone to fight the epidemic of prescription drug misuse," said Betsy Walker, director of Community Relations at Cardinal Health and co-director of Generation Rx, an initiative from the Cardinal Health Foundation and The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy that fights prescription drug misuse through prevention education.
Last October, Americans turned in 366 tons of prescription drugs at almost 5,200 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,000 of its state and local law enforcement partners. In support of take-back days and prevention education, the Cardinal Health Foundation awarded nearly $900,000 through Generation Rx grants last year. The Foundation's Medication Disposal Grant Program helps nonprofit organizations build or expand existing disposal programs to educate communities about safe medication practices that help reduce prescription drug misuse.
"As highly respected healthcare providers in their communities, pharmacists play a powerful role in fighting prescription drug misuse," Steve Lawrence, senior vice president of Independent Sales at Cardinal Health and executive sponsor of Generation Rx said. "And we know it's critical to engage young people. In fact, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration says that youth who learn about the risks of prescription drug misuse are up to 50 percent less likely to ever misuse them."
On National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, one Generation Rx Medication Disposal Grant recipient, the Children's Coalition for Northeast Louisiana, will work in partnership with local sheriff's departments, pharmacies, student pharmacists and high school students to expand the number of drug take-back sites in their region, doubling the number of take-back sites since last year's event.
"The take-back events give us the opportunity to shine a spotlight on the issue of prescription drug misuse," said Mary Barrios, healthy living coordinator at Children's Coalition for Northeast Louisiana. "We can't underestimate the power of our partnerships. Together, we're starting the conversation and educating youth, parents and seniors about prescription drug misuse. It's our goal to create sustainable change and significantly reduce the misuse in our community."
To measure the effectiveness of their efforts, the Children's Coalition for Northeast Louisiana will compare their expanded drug take-back events to those of prior years by measuring the number of participants and the number of pounds of prescription drugs collected. All Medication Disposal Grant recipients will report on the results of their initiatives in the summer of 2017.
Those interested in learning more about the Generation Rx program or grant recipient results can visit generationrx.org. Those interested in locating a take-back location can visit deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug disposal/takeback.
About Generation Rx
Through Generation Rx, the Cardinal Health Foundation, in partnership with The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy and many others at the local, state and national level, is engaged in the fight against prescription drug misuse. Generation Rx takes a multi-pronged approach, providing prevention education, increasing participation in drug take back programs, supporting community collaborations and encouraging prescribers to limit opioid prescriptions. Since 2009, the Cardinal Health Foundation has invested over $6 million in Generation Rx grants nationwide.
About the Cardinal Health Foundation
The Cardinal Health Foundation supports local, national and international programs that improve health care efficiency, effectiveness and excellence and the overall wellness of the communities where Cardinal Health's nearly 40,000 employees live and work. The Cardinal Health Foundation also offers grants to encourage community service among its employees and works through international agencies to donate much-needed medical supplies and funding to those who need them in times of disaster because Cardinal Health is #AllInForGood. To learn more, visit www.CardinalHealth.com/community and visit the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CardinalHealthFoundation.
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SOURCE Cardinal Health