As part of WE Day UN, thousands of youth will hear real stories about pressing social issues young people are passionate about including those of addiction and how Walgreens is working to combat the nation’s opioid epidemic. The #ItEndsWithUs campaign seeks to provide teens with resources and positive steps that they can take in their community, which are available at the #ItEndsWithUs hub at www.walgreens.com/itendswithus.
The campaign features actor Brandon Larracuente from the popular Netflix series, “13 Reasons Why” and “Bloodline.” Larracuente, who lost a close friend to opioid addiction, will speak via video message to introduce the #ItEndsWithUs campaign. Larracuente will also introduce Savage, who is now working with Walgreens to educate teens on the risks of opioids.
“I joined forces with Walgreens because I want to help kids understand the risks of opioids, and encourage families to clean out their medicine cabinet and safely dispose of their unused medications,” said Savage. “In one terrible night in 2015, I lost my sons Jack and Nick to opioid overdose. I’m speaking at WE Day UN to help prevent more tragic deaths like theirs.”
Savage will speak about Walgreens safe medication disposal program that began in 2016. Walgreens safe medication disposal kiosks allow individuals to safely and conveniently dispose of their unwanted, unused or expired prescriptions year-round at no cost, including controlled substances and over-the-counter medications. This year, Walgreens installed its 1,000th safe medication disposal kiosk and currently has kiosks available in 45 Walgreens pharmacies in New York state with at least 30 additional kiosks across the five boroughs. The kiosks at Walgreens pharmacies are available during regular pharmacy hours and offer one of the best ways to ensure medications are not accidentally used or intentionally misused by someone else. To date, more than 270 tons of medication has been safely collected and disposed through Walgreens Safe Medication disposal program.
The #ItEndsWithUs campaign was introduced as another platform to further Walgreens efforts to help combat the national opioid crisis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), overdose deaths among 15-to-19-year-olds spiked more than 19 percent between 2014 and 2015. The CDC also found that nearly half of all opioid overdose deaths involve a prescription opioid.
As part of its comprehensive national plan to combat drug abuse, Walgreens has also made naloxone, a lifesaving opioid overdose antidote, available without requiring a prescription in Walgreens pharmacies in New York. Naloxone can be used in the event of an overdose to reverse the effects of heroin or other opioid drugs, and is administered by injection or nasal spray.
Since 2017, #ItEndsWithUs has reached 61,000 youth at WE Day events across New York, Dallas, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Seattle. Walgreens will continue to raise awareness around the opioid epidemic through 2018 and beyond to help curb opioid misuse and abuse. To learn more, visit www.walgreens.com/combatdrugabuse.
WE Day is a celebration of social good—students cannot buy a ticket to WE Day UN, this community of young change makers earned their way by taking action on local and global causes of their choice. To learn more, visit http://www.we.org/press/we-day-press/un-epk/.