The Cardinal Health Foundation and the Ohio State University College of Pharmacy have teamed up to launch the new GenerationRx Youth Toolkit, aimed at helping prevent prescription drug abuse by teens.


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Cardinal Health tool kit on Rx abuse targets teens

December 16th, 2010

DUBLIN, Ohio – The Cardinal Health Foundation and the Ohio State University College of Pharmacy have teamed up to launch the new GenerationRx Youth Toolkit, aimed at helping prevent prescription drug abuse by teens.

Cardinal Health said the new kit offers health care providers, pharmacists, parents, teachers, youth group leaders and other concerned citizens interactive resources to educate teens about the realities and dangers of prescription drug abuse. The kit is available for download free at www.cardinalhealth.com/GenerationRx.

Last April, the foundation and Ohio State's pharmacy college launched the Generation Rx Toolkit for adult audiences to raise public awareness of prescription drug abuse. Since then, the kit has been downloaded nearly 1,000 times, according to Cardinal.

Though the GenerationRx Youth Toolkit largely complements the content in the original Generation Rx Toolkit, the youth curriculum specifically appeals to the learning styles of teens, using games, skits and discussion prompts to engage participants and promote peer-to-peer prevention efforts, Cardinal noted.

The GenerationRx Youth Toolkit, developed with input from pharmacists and educators, contains materials to deliver a highly interactive, 30- to 60-minute presentation on prescription drug abuse to a teen audience. It includes talking points, presentation materials and tips, visual aids and instructions for all program activities. The kit also enables the program to be presented in a variety of environments, ranging from formal classroom settings to after-school programming, youth programs and extracurricular events.

Cardinal reported that  according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, about 2,500 children between the ages of 12 and 17 abuse a prescription painkiller for the first time every day.

"More than one-third of teens feel pressure to abuse prescription drugs, and nearly 40% incorrectly perceive prescription drugs as being much safer to abuse than 'street' drugs," stated Nicole Cartwright Kwiek, clinical assistant professor and assistant director for Educational Outreach at the Ohio State University College of Pharmacy. "By engaging rather than lecturing, the [GenerationRx Youth] program empowers teens to share accurate information about the realities of prescription drug abuse with their peers, enhancing prevention efforts and impeding the spread of dangerous myths."

Cardinal and the Ohio State College of Pharmacy have also partnered with the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) to make the tool kits available to student pharmacists at 120 colleges and schools of pharmacy nationwide. Student pharmacists who are members of the APhA Academy of Student Pharmacists will be encouraged to use GenerationRx materials in presentations to local schools and to serve as advocates for prescription drug abuse prevention in their communities.

"Cardinal Health customers and employees are passionate about educating the public about the dangers of prescription drug abuse and misuse, and our new youth tool kit was created in direct response to their interest in speaking directly to teens about this growing public health issue," commented Jessica Lineberger, community relations manager for Cardinal Health. "We look forward to continuing to partner with the Ohio State University College of Pharmacy, the American Pharmacists Association, our customers and employees to raise public awareness that America's biggest drug problem isn't on the street; it's in our medicine cabinets."

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