Non-profit organizations across the country were awarded grants from the Cardinal Health Foundation to help fight prescription drug misuse by improving their communities' medication disposal programs.
According to the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, nearly 70% of those who misuse prescription drugs get them from family members or friends, and often from the medicine cabinet. "One of the simplest and most effective ways to fight prescription drug misuse is to encourage the proper disposal of unused or expired medication," said 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.
2016 medication disposal grant recipients
- The Alcohol and Substance Abuse Prevention Council of Saratoga County, with funding being used by The Community Coalition for Family Wellness, South Glens Falls, New York
- Children's Coalition for Northeast Louisiana, Monroe, Louisiana
- Community Awareness and Prevention Association (CAPA), Brecksville / Broadview Heights, Ohio
- Drug Free Tipton, Covington, Tennessee
- Geisinger Clinic, Danville, Pennsylvania
- Janesville Area Crime Stoppers, Janesville, Wisconsin
- Licking County Prevention Partnership (Pathways of Central Ohio), Newark, Ohio
- Manhasset Community Coalition Against Substance Abuse (CASA), Manhasset, New York
- Norfolk County (MA) Seven Public Health Departments Collaborative, Needham, Massachusetts
- OASIS Coalition / Old Colony YMCA, Stoughton, Massachusetts
- PEER Services, Inc, Evanston and Glenview, Illinois
- Pledge for Life Partnership, Kankakee, Illinois
- Project Lazarus, Moravian Falls, North Carolina
- Rise Above Colorado, Broomfield, Colorado
- St. Louis College of Pharmacy, Saint Louis, Missouri
- Union County Drug Free Coalition, Marysville, Ohio
- Youth Connections, Helena, Montana
About the Cardinal Health Foundation
The Cardinal Health Foundation supports local, national and international programs that improve health care efficiency, effectiveness and excellence and the overall wellness of the communities where Cardinal Health, Inc.'s (NYSE:CAH) nearly 37,000 employees live and work. The Cardinal Health Foundation also offers grants to encourage community service among its employees and works through international agencies to donate much-needed medical supplies and funding to those who need them in times of disaster; because Cardinal Health, Inc. To learn more, visit www.CardinalHealth.com/community