DUBLIN, Ohio – Non-profit organizations across the country were awarded grants Wednesday from the Cardinal Health Foundation to help fight prescription drug misuse by improving their communities’ medication disposal programs.
“One of the simplest and most effective ways to fight prescription drug misuse is to encourage the proper disposal of unused or expired medication,” stated Betsy Walker, community relations director and Generation Rx program manager at Cardinal Health. “Cardinal Health Foundation is investing $360,000 to support these programs and help educate on proper disposal.”
With grant funding from the Generation Rx program, grantees will work to increase awareness of their communities’ drug disposal programs, and increase the participation of community members in the programs.
All recipients proposed collaborative programs that partner with other organizations in their communities, and engage pharmacists or student pharmacists. “Pharmacists play a powerful role in fighting prescription drug misuse by educating their communities about how to use medications safely,” Walker said.
Youth are also involved with each grantee’s project; according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, youth who learn about the risks of prescription drug misuse are up to 50% less likely to ever misuse prescription drugs. Young people also help influence their parents to properly dispose of unused or expired medications.
Some of the programs will specifically target young people with educational messages, while others will engage young students in creating educational messages for their peers. Another grantee will train high school students to teach elementary students about the dangers of prescription drug misuse.
All grant projects are required to measure impact and outcomes of the disposal program’s promotion efforts and education efforts (comparing community participation in drug disposal before and after program implementation, for example). In addition, each grantee is charged with seeking opportunities, if available, for scaling up and spreading successful programs to other communities.
Grantees will report on the results of their grant initiatives in the summer of 2017.
Since 2009, the Cardinal Health Foundation has invested over $5 million in partnerships and grants across the country to raise awareness and knowledge about the dangers of prescription drug misuse through the Generation Rx program.