The campaign will feature 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.
“The opioid epidemic is an issue affecting our generation and I am proud to work with Walgreens on their #ItEndsWithUs campaign,” said Larracuente. “The first step is raising awareness, the second is education on the opioid epidemic and the third is driving positive change. Through #ItEndsWithUs, we hope teens will follow these steps and encourage others to join the movement to end the opioid epidemic.”
Larracuente will also introduce Adelle Buede, a local Irvine, Calif. millennial, who overcame her addiction and is now working with Walgreens to educate teens. Buede 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, including controlled substances and over-the-counter medications, year-round at no cost. Kiosks are available in more than 50 Walgreens pharmacies in California during regular pharmacy hours. Most people who misuse prescription drugs first obtain them from a family member or friend, often from a home medicine cabinet.
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. Walgreens will continue to raise awareness around the opioid epidemic at upcoming WE Day events in 2018, with the help of Larracuente engaging teens across the country.
As part of its comprehensive national plan to combat drug abuse, Walgreens has made naloxone, a lifesaving opioid antidote, available without a prescription in all Walgreens pharmacies in California, in accordance with state pharmacy regulations. 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.
Walgreens has also installed safe medication disposal kiosks in 600 of its pharmacies across 45 states and is in the process of expanding its program to an additional 900 Walgreens across the country. When the expansion is complete, safe medication disposal kiosks will be available in 1,500 Walgreens nationwide.
Following WE Day California, Walgreens will continue to create awareness on the opioid epidemic at WE Day events in Chicago on April 25, 2018; and Seattle on May 3, 2018. These markets follow the campaign’s previous stop at WE Day Texas in Dallas and launch at WE Day UN in New York City in September 2017.