Retail News Breaks Archives
CVS helps Medicine Abuse Project get message out
September 24th, 2012
WOONSOCKET, R.I. – As part of its sponsorship of The Partnership at Drugfree.org's The Medicine Abuse Project, CVS Caremark Corp. will ask millions of its customers to take the project's pledge to learn about teen medicine abuse, safeguard medicines in the home and talk to teens about drug misuse and abuse.
CVS and The Partnership at Drugfree.org kicked off The Medicine Abuse Project with an interactive exhibit at Manhattan's Grand Central Station.
The Medicine Abuse Project aims to prevent a half-million teens from abusing medicine over the next five years. To assist in that goal, CVS said Monday that it will use many of its communications channels to share with its millions of customers some key facts central to the awareness campaign, including the following:
• Each day, more than 2,000 kids abuse prescription drugs for the first time.
• One in six teens has used a prescription drug to get high or change their mood, and most got them from a family or a friend.
• More kids abuse prescription drugs than Ecstasy, crack/cocaine, heroin or meth.
• Prescription drugs are the most commonly abused drugs among kids ages 12 to 13.
• Kids who learn about the risks of drugs at home are up to 50% less likely to use them.
"Our company's pharmacists are experts at advising people on the proper way to take their medications in order to get healthy and stay that way," Larry Merlo, president and chief executive officer of CVS Caremark, said in a statement. "But our decision to get involved with The Medicine Abuse Project underscores an equally compelling need: to make sure children and teens don't have access to prescription drugs prescribed for others and are made aware of the risks associated with medicine abuse."
The Partnership at Drugfree.org is urging people to take the pledge at its website, and CVS is encouraging customers to take the pledge through its Facebook and Twitter channels, its websites CVS.com and CVSCaremark.com, in direct communications to millions of CVS/pharmacy ExtraCare cardholders, and in radio ads playing in all CVS/pharmacy locations.
On Sept. 25 in Manhattan, The Medicine Abuse Project plans to unveil an interactive exhibit in Grand Central Terminal's Vanderbilt Hall, which will feature personal stories about medicine abuse in a visually-engaging story-telling installation. And at the nearby CVS/pharmacy at 150 East 42nd St., customers will be offered information about the campaign and will have an opportunity to take the pledge right in the store, CVS said.
"The majority of teens who abuse medicines get them from family and friends," stated Steve Pasierb, president and CEO of The Partnership for Drugfree.org. "We need to change that. With the support of partners like CVS Caremark, physicians, parents and teens themselves will be more aware of the dangers of medicine abuse."
The campaign also is encouraging parents to safeguard their medicine by keeping pill bottles in a secure, locked place and to count and monitor the number of pills they have at all times; educate themselves about the information resources available on the subject; share information and awareness with family, friends and neighbors; talk to their children about the risks of abusing prescription drugs and over-the-counter cough medicine; get help if they think their child has a problem with prescription or OTC drugs at timetogethelp.drugfree.org or by calling Drugfree.org's hotline at 1-855-DRUGFREE; and properly dispose of unused medicines.
CVS noted at all CVS/pharmacy stores offer Sharps Compliance Corp.'s TakeAway Environmental Return program, which provides customers with the ability to safely dispose of their unused, expired or unwanted drugs using affordable medication disposal envelopes. The postage-paid envelopes enable customers to mail their unwanted prescription and OTC medications through the U.S. Postal Service to a licensed, secure facility for safe destruction.
Announced earlier this month, CVS is also supporting a year-long prescription drug abuse initiative organized by the National Governors Association and the National Safety Council. As part of that project, seven states will participate in a drug policy academy, where strategies and recommendations will be developed for governors looking to reduce prescription drug abuse in their states.
"Families need to stop and ask themselves, 'What's in our medicine cabinet?' " added Merlo. "Medicine abuse is a national health problem but, with partnerships like these, it doesn't have to be."