Rite Aid cracks down on drug safety
The Rite Aid foundation launched a prescription drug safety initiative in Seattle-area high schools in an effort to help address adolescent drug abuse and misuse in the state of Washington.
The company announced that the Prescription Drug Safety program, developed by EVERFI, will be made available to high schools in the Seattle-Tacoma Metro area, which includes King, Snohomish and Pierce Counties, at no cost. Representatives of The Rite Aid Foundation and Washington State announced the launch of the new program during a press conference and demonstration at Evergreen High School.
On average, two people die each day in Washington from opioid overdoses. That includes deaths from prescription and synthetic opioids, as well as heroin. While prescription opioid overdoses are down, overdoses from heroin are on the rise.
“We have seen a dramatic increase in prescription drug abuse and misuse, and it has become a national health problem that poses a serious threat to the health, safety and wellbeing of our young people,” said Kermit Crawford, President and Chief Operating Officer of Rite Aid Corporation and President of The Rite Aid Foundation. “The Rite Aid Foundation is proud to introduce this important prevention education to Seattle-area students. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in five high school seniors admits to misusing prescription drugs. It’s more important than ever to reach out to our students and arm them with the knowledge to prevent abuse before it occurs.”
According to the company, the Prescription Drug Safety program uses an evidence-based, public health approach to empower high school students with the skills and knowledge they need to make safe and healthy decisions about prescription drugs. Through interactive scenarios and self-guided activities, students learn the facts about drugs, how to properly use and dispose of them, and how to step in when faced with a situation involving misuse.
In addition to the activation in Seattle and Tacoma-area high schools, as part of its commitment to creating safe and healthy environments for children and teens, The Rite Aid Foundation, through its KidCents program, will also fund the introduction of the Prescription Drug Safety program to high schools in Ohio, California, Michigan, Oregon and Pennsylvania. In all, The Rite Aid Foundation made a three-year, $1.7 million commitment to the Prescription Drug Safety program, which is expected to reach more than 400 high schools.
“Opioid addiction among Washington students is a growing concern. Studies show more and more young people are abusing prescription drugs,” said Ken Turner, Program Supervisor, Health and Physical Education, Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). “Prevention education to high school students is a critical piece of solving this epidemic. We are extremely grateful for The Rite Aid Foundation’s commitment to help our state’s efforts to combat the opioid crisis.”
Since its inception in 2001, The Rite Aid Foundation has awarded more than $36 million to non-profit organizations. Additionally, Rite Aid, through the efforts of its customers, supplier partners and associates, has also raised more than $87 million for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals across the country since 1994.