“We have to work together to identify a long-term solution to the prescription drug abuse epidemic our country is experiencing. In America, 78 people die each day from opioid overdose and another 20.8 million have a substance use disorder,” said Colleen Lindholz, president of Kroger Pharmacy and The Little Clinic. “Kroger is committed to offering resources in our stores, pharmacies and communities to be a part of the solution. This preventive education program is just one more way we are helping people, including our youth, lead healthier lives.”
The digital learning experience 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. The course is aligned with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s national health education standards and state academic standards.
Adoption of the digital prevention education is expected to grow to over 270 schools in the new academic year, and the expansion brings the program to students for the first time in Atlanta (Ga.), Dallas (Texas), Houston (Texas), Lansing (Mich.), Lexington, (Ky.), Louisville (Ky.), Memphis (Tenn.), Nashville (Tenn.), and Phoenix (Ariz.).
Ten schools across the Cincinnati metropolitan area participated in the program’s pilot last spring. The training proved to be effective as students increased their understanding of prescription drug topics by 49 percent on average based on pre- to post-assessments, with the most significant impact in students’ ability and confidence to support a friend who may be at risk for prescription drugs misuse. Comprehensive data on the programs efficacy can be found here.
“The course is a vital part of our curriculum. My high school students have learned a lot about prevention strategies and ways they can help a family member or friend if they see there is a problem,” said Kathy Broadnax, health and physical education teacher at The Academies of Bryan Station in Lexington, KY. “I am excited Kroger is supporting this excellent education tool, as they are showing communities responsible medication use is a priority.”
The Prescription Drug Safety Network partners include a diverse group of state leaders, healthcare companies, pharmaceutical manufacturers, pharmacies, and foundations.
“Prescription drug abuse has dealt a devastating blow to communities across the country, yet there are few initiatives aimed at positively preventing the abuse before it occurs,” said EVERFI chief executive officer Tom Davidson. “Through the Prescription Drug Safety Network, we are bringing together state officials, policy leaders, industry leaders, educators, and community organizations committed to combating abuse by investing in prevention education. Everyone needs to be at the table to help solve this crisis.”