Associates in Action:
Cardinal Health Foundation Launches
Initiative to Prevent Prescription Drug Abuse
By Maggie Mick, CSG Associate Director of Development
A recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health found prescription medication abuse is a significant societal health issue, with more Americans abusing prescription drugs than cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens and inhalants combined. It also found that one in five teens will abuse a prescription medication at least once in their lifetime.
Preventing prescription drug abuse and misuse, an epidemic in our country, is one of the key strategic priorities of the Cardinal Health Foundation.
The Cardinal Health Foundation and The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy released a toolkit in 2010 that pharmacists, health care providers, community organizations and others can use to educate their communities about how to avoid the abuse and misuse of prescription drugs.
Since the program was launched, two additional toolkits have been co-developed; one is very interactive and focused on middle school and high school students, and the second targets senior citizens and caregivers with a focus on how to get the best and safest use of medications. The goal of the Generation Rx Initiative is to enhance the public’s understanding of medication safety issues in general, and those relating to prescription drug abuse in particular.
The toolkits cater to a broad audience and can be used by anyone, not just health care professionals. The partnership also has engaged groups including the American Pharmacists Association, the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists, the National Consumers League and the National Community Pharmacists Association to promote the toolkit among pharmacists and other key audiences. The Cardinal Health Foundation also has supported the recognition of health care professional at the state and national level, and has been engaged with local and state government endeavors in Ohio.
“The Generation Rx toolkits empower pharmacists to leverage their role as trusted local health care experts to help patients, teens and their broader communities understand the pervasiveness of prescription medication abuse and what they can do to prevent it,” said Shelley Bird, executive vice president of Cardinal Health and chairperson of the Cardinal Health Foundation. “The toolkits allow everyone, not just health care professionals, to educate themselves on the issue and present it and share the information with others.”
The toolkits, available online, provide the resources needed to conduct an educational session at a school, Rotary, PTO/PTA meeting, senior center, library, independent living home or any location where the message of the dangers of prescription drug abuse or misuse might be spread. The toolkits feature a variety of discussion-based and interactive materials that can be used to customize a 30- to 60-minute presentation to educate various audiences about the safe use of medications.
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 30,000 employees live and work. To learn more, visit Cardinal Health.
Associates in Action highlights CSG’s private-sector and association members that are aiding citizens through philanthropic efforts and innovative public-private partnership programs.