ShopRite Pharmacy announces its support of Prescription Drug Safety, a new educational initiative to empower New Jersey high school students with the skills to make safe and healthy decisions about prescription medications and understand the dangers of misusing these drugs. The digital program, developed by EVERFI, the nation’s leading education technology innovator used in one-in-seven high schools nationwide, will be available this fall in 30 high schools across Essex, Ocean, Monmouth, Gloucester, and Camden counties, all at no cost to the schools.
Prescription drug abuse continues to tighten its grip on the country and the state, with New Jersey experiencing more than 1,000 opioid related deaths so far this year. Recognizing the severity of this crisis, the state recently announced the creation of a new office to combat the epidemic. It has become clear that communities throughout the state are being devastated and additional resources and support are needed to focus on prevention and education.
“ShopRite Pharmacy is proud to bring critical prevention education to high school students so they can gain awareness and build the skills they need to protect themselves and prevent abuse before it occurs,” said Karen Meleta, spokesperson for ShopRite.
The Prescription Drug Safety program 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’s National Health Education Standards and state academic standards.
“As community pharmacists, we are close to our patients and recognize that education and prevention are the keys to preventing prescription drug misuse and abuse,” added Jeffrey Mondelli, RPh, Vice President of Pharmacy for ShopRite. “We also know that today’s high school students face unique challenges, and this knowledge is critical for them to have. Our support of this new program is part of our ongoing commitment to combatting the opioid epidemic in the communities our stores serve through targeted, preventive educational outreach.”
“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 CEO Tom Davidson. “We are extremely proud to welcome ShopRite to this network of leaders across multiple industries and thank them for their commitment to investing in prevention education.”
The digital prescription drug abuse prevention course is the flagship initiative of the Prescription Drug Safety Network, the nation’s first public-private initiative to combat prescription drug abuse by providing prevention education to schools across the US. Network partners include a diverse group of state leaders, industry leaders, educators, community-based organizations, and foundations. Since the Network’s inception in fall 2017, Network partners have already reached more than 90,000 students across the US with EVERFI’s engaging digital curriculum.