The Rite Aid Foundation Launches New Prescription Drug Safety Initiative in Portland-Area High Schools
CAMP HILL, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Apr 5, 2019--In an effort to help combat teen drug abuse and misuse in Oregon state, The Rite Aid Foundation is bringing the Prescription Drug Safety program, an innovative digital course about prescription drug abuse prevention, to Portland-area high schools.
The program, developed by EVERFI, the nation’s leading education technology innovator used in one in seven schools nationwide, will be made available to high schools in Washington, Clackamas and Multnomah counties at no cost. Representatives of The Rite Aid Foundation, U.S. Representative Earl Blumenauer and Centennial School District officials announced the launch of the new program today during a press conference and demonstration at Centennial High School.
“The rise of prescription drug misuse and abuse is one of the fastest-growing drug problems in the United States, and it’s having an adverse effect on the physical and mental health of our nation’s young people,” said Tracy Henderson, director of The Rite Aid Foundation and charitable giving initiatives. “We are proud to bring this important prevention program to Oregon students to educate them on the risks of prescription drug misuse and abuse and help combat this growing epidemic.”
According to an Oregon state audit completed in December 2018 by Secretary of State Dennis Richardson, Oregon ranks sixth for teen opioid drug use. This misuse or abuse of prescription drugs can lead to abuse of illicit drugs such as heroin and fentanyl.
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 and Prevention’s National Health Education Standards and state academic standards.
According to the Oregon Health Authority, Oregon has one of the highest rates of prescription opioids misuse in the nation. Additionally, on average, five Oregonians die from opioid overdoses every week. While prescription opioid overdoses are declining, opioid overdose hospitalizations have slightly increased.
“The opioid crisis continues to harm communities large and small across America,” said U.S. Representative Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), a member of the House Ways and Means subcommittee on Health. “Every day that we delay addressing this epidemic, communities decline, families unravel, and lives are lost. We need to help our children understand prescription drug abuse and misuse in order to prevent it before it starts.”
Centennial High School is implementing the six-lesson online Prescription Drug Safety program as part of the health education program. Centennial is one of the first Portland-area schools to integrate the program into its curriculum. Over the next year, at least 20 high schools in the area are expected to launch the program.
“Educating our students must include addressing the challenges and real-world issues they face in their daily lives as members of our community, including prescription drug abuse and misuse,” said Dr. Paul Coakley, superintendent of Centennial Public Schools. “This innovative, new program will enable us to prepare our students to make smart, healthy decisions about prescription drugs and empower them to be part of the solution to combatting this epidemic.”
In addition to the activation in Portland-area high schools, as part of its commitment to creating safe and healthy environments for children and teens, The Rite Aid Foundation, through its KidCents program, will also fund the introduction of the Prescription Drug Safety program to high schools in Pennsylvania, California, Michigan, Washington and Ohio. In all, The Rite Aid Foundation made a $1.7 million commitment to the Prescription Drug Safety program, which is expected to reach more than 400 high schools.
Through the KidCents program, members of Rite Aid’s loyalty program, wellness+ rewards, can round up their in-store or online purchases to the nearest dollar and donate their change to KidCents. Members can also choose to direct their change to a specific KidCents charity by visiting www.kidcents.com. Through KidCents’ Step Up Fund, The Rite Aid Foundation provides a matching donation of $500 for every $500 a charity raises in contributions through the wellness+ rewards program, up to a maximum of $5,000. For more information, visit www.kidcents.com.
Since its inception in 2001, The Rite Aid Foundation has awarded more than $52 million to nonprofit organizations. Additionally, Rite Aid, through the efforts of its customers, supplier partners and associates, has also raised more than $92 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals across the country since 1994.
Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE: RAD) is one of the nation’s leading drugstore chains with fiscal 2018 annual revenues of $21.5 billion. Information about Rite Aid, including corporate background and press releases, is available through the company’s website at www.riteaid.com.
The Centennial School District builds authentic relationships with our diverse community that equitably engages and honors all voices. We intentionally implement rigorous, culturally relevant, and evidence-based practices to cultivate academic excellence for each student.
EVERFI is the leading education technology innovator that provides learners of all ages education for the real world through scalable digital learning platforms. Founded in 2008, EVERFI is fueled by its Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) subscription model and has certified over 25 million learners with more than 3,500 partners across 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. EVERFI is an industry convener that builds Networks that tackle the toughest social issues. These Networks include the Prescription Drug Safety Network, Campus Prevention Network, and the Financial Capability Network. Some of America’s leading CEOs and venture capital firms are EVERFI investors including Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, Twitter founder Evan Williams, TPG Growth, The Rise Fund, Advance Publications, Rethink Education and Rethink Impact. To learn more about EVERFI visit www.everfi.com or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or Twitter @EVERFI.
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KEYWORD: UNITED STATES NORTH AMERICA OREGON PENNSYLVANIA
INDUSTRY KEYWORD: EDUCATION PRIMARY/SECONDARY CONTINUING OTHER EDUCATION HEALTH PHARMACEUTICAL PHILANTHROPY OTHER PHILANTHROPY FOUNDATION GENERAL HEALTH
SOURCE: The Rite Aid Foundation and Rite Aid Corporation
Copyright Business Wire 2019.
PUB: 04/05/2019 01:00 PM/DISC: 04/05/2019 01:00 PM