Did you know that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated more than 52,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2015? How about that teen drug overdose death rates more than doubled from 1999 to 2007, then increased again in 2015? What’s equally alarming is that accidental childhood poisonings cause more than 60,000 children each year (165 children each day!) to seek emergency room treatment.
We are committed to enhancing community safety and promoting the health and wellness of the children in the communities we serve. That’s why The Rite Aid Foundation created the KidCents Safe Medication Disposal Program, a new initiative focused on reducing drug accessibility, medication misuse and accidental poisoning among children and adolescents.
Launched today in partnership with the Spokane Police Department, the KidCents Safe Medication Disposal Program provides law enforcement agencies in communities served by Rite Aid with free medication disposal units for individuals to safely dispose of expired or unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medications.
Rite Aid Executive Vice President of Pharmacy Jocelyn Konrad and The Rite Aid Foundation and Charitable Giving Initiatives Director Tracy Henderson were joined by U.S. Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Spokane Mayor David Condon and Spokane Police Chief Craig Meidl to formally announce this new initiative.
“Through KidCents and by working with local law enforcement agencies, we’ve come up with a solution to help address drug abuse and accidental poisonings, both of which pose a serious threat to the health, safety and well-being of our nation’s young people,” said Rite Aid Executive Vice President of Pharmacy Jocelyn Konrad.
“The cycle of addiction and drug abuse is heartbreaking. It’s something I continue to hear about as I meet with people all across Eastern Washington,” said Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05). “Solving this problem in our community will take the collaboration of local government, law enforcement, and outreach and advocacy groups.”
Currently, more than 40 law enforcement agencies across the country participate in the KidCents Safe Medication Disposal Program, with 76 units available in 14 states.
To all our KidCents charities – please encourage your local law enforcement agencies to apply to participate in the KidCents Safe Medication Disposal Program. Selected agencies will receive high-quality, stainless steel medication disposal units to keep in their locations, as well as initial start-up supplies. In addition, shipping, delivery, and installation is free. Let’s help combat drug addiction and abuse one community at a time.