University of Charleston

October 24, 2019 — This month, University of Charleston School of Pharmacy (UCSOP) student pharmacists will have visited 350 children in over 30 third-grade classrooms throughout Kanawha County to deliver Generation Rx™, a prescription drug misuse information and prevention program. The program, administered by the West Virginia Drug Intervention Institute, Inc. (WV DII), located at UC, pairs pharmacy students with third-grade classrooms during a 30-45 minute interactive presentation designed to educate youth about not sharing medication.

Visits to the third-grade classrooms will continue during the spring 2020 semester and will include all third-grade classrooms in Putnam County and the remaining classrooms in Kanawha County reaching over 1,500 students. Information will also be sent home to parents on the importance of storing and disposing of medications properly. The WV DII is also providing each school with medication disposal systems to share with parents and staff in an effort to get unused medications out of homes.

Generation Rx is an evidence-based program developed in collaboration with the Cardinal Health Foundation, the American Pharmacists Association (APhA), and The Ohio State University School of Pharmacy. The Generation Rx curriculum is designed to increase public awareness of prescription medication abuse and medication safety.  The program also encourages healthcare providers, community leaders, parents, teens, and college students to actively work to prevent abuse.

“The messaging UC’s student pharmacists share through Generation Rx is so important for elementary-age students,” said Dr. Susan Bissett, president of the WV DII at UC. “Nationwide 5,700 persons age 12 or older abuse a prescription medication every day. Reaching children early and educating them about medication safety is crucial in combatting prescription drug abuse and encouraging adherence.”

For a schedule of presentations, please contact the WV DII at (304) 357-4345 or email at jessicanapiereagle@dii.ucwv.edu.

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About the WV DII
The West Virginia Drug Intervention Institute (WV DII) at the University of Charleston is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. The mission of the WV DII is to reduce deaths in West Virginia from opioid and drug abuse by being (a) an independent advocate for life-enhancing drug policies, and practices, (b) a hub for coordinating drug response activities, and (c) an educational center to address the prevalence of drug abuse and the stigma of drug addiction. The Institute is housed at the University of Charleston in West Virginia’s state capital and is designed to: identify and assess best practices through research and data analysis, provide education programs on prescription drug safety, collaborate with municipalities and agencies to promote best practices to prevent overdose deaths, advocate for policies that promote educational and employment opportunities for those in recovery, and identify and implement prevention strategies.