CAMP HILL, Pa. — The Rite Aid Foundation has launched the KidCents Safe Medication Disposal Program, aimed at preventing medication misuse and accidental poisoning among children and teens.
Announced Wednesday, the KidCents Safe Medication Disposal Program provides law enforcement in communities served by Rite Aid with free medication disposal units for people to safely discard expired or unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medications.
More than 40 law enforcement agencies nationwide currently participate in the program, with 76 medication disposal units in 14 states. The initiative is funded by The Rite Aid Foundation’s KidCents program, which enables members of Rite Aid’s wellness+ with Plenti rewards program to round up their in-store or online purchases to the nearest dollar and give their change to charities focused on children’s well-being.
“Through KidCents and by working with local law enforcement agencies, we’ve come up with a solution to help address drug abuse and accidental poisonings, both of which pose a serious threat to the health, safety and well-being of our nation’s young people,” Jocelyn Konrad, executive vice president of pharmacy at Rite Aid, said in a statement. “Initial feedback from law enforcement agencies in our pilot markets has been positive, and we continue to see strong interest in our program.
“We look forward to partnering with law enforcement agencies to bring disposal units to the communities we serve, truly delivering on The Rite Aid Foundation’s mission of improving the health and well-being of kids,” she added.
Konrad is slated to inaugurate the KidCents Safe Medication Disposal Program on Wednesday morning in a press conference at the Spokane, Wash., police department’s downtown precinct with Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R., Wash.), Spokane Mayor David Condon and Spokane Police Chief Craig Meidl.
Any law enforcement agency located in a community served by Rite Aid can apply to participate in the program. Law enforcement sites receive stainless steel medication disposal units and start-up supplies. Shipping, delivery and installation are free.
“Enhancing community safety has been a critical focus, and with Chief Meidl we’ve worked hard to improve the quality of life for Spokane residents,” Condon commented. “The fact that The Rite Aid Foundation chose Spokane to officially launch its Safe Medication Disposal Program is a testament to the tremendous progress we’ve made so far in making Spokane safer, smarter and healthier.”
As part of the program’s initial rollout, the Spokane Police Department received three medication disposal units, which are located inside the Public Safety Building at 1100 West Mallon Ave., Spokane Police North Precinct at 5124 North Market St. and Spokane Police Downtown Precinct at 221 W. First Ave. The units are available during business hours.
“Providing our residents with places to easily and safely dispose of unused medication is one more way we can fight drug abuse in our city and ultimately, make Spokane a safer place,” according to Meidl. “We are proud to partner with KidCents and The Rite Aid Foundation to create a safer environment for our children, families and community.”
A key focus of the program is to reduce children’s access to drugs as a way to thwart misuse and medication poisoning. In communities with KidCents Safe Medication Disposal units, Rite Aid pharmacies in the area have brochures listing the locations of participating police departments.
“The cycle of addiction and drug abuse is heartbreaking. It’s something I continue to hear about as I meet with people all across eastern Washington,” McMorris Rodgers stated. “Solving this problem in our community will take the collaboration of local government, law enforcement, and outreach and advocacy groups. I applaud The Rite Aid Foundation for developing the KidCents Safe Medication Disposal Program and bringing it here to Spokane to help fight back against addiction and drug abuse in our community.”