To help address adolescent drug abuse and misuse in the state of Washington, The Rite Aid Foundation is bringing the Prescription Drug Safety program, an innovative digital course about prescription drug abuse prevention, to Seattle-area high schools.
Representatives from The Rite Aid Foundation and the state of Washington announced the program on October 4, during an event at Evergreen High School, the first school in Seattle to integrate the program into its curriculum.
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 program is available to high schools in the Seattle-Tacoma Metro area, which includes King, Snohomish and Pierce Counties, at no cost. Over the next year, 60 other local high schools will activate the program.
“We have seen a dramatic increase in prescription drug abuse and misuse, and it has become a national health problem that poses a serious threat to the health, safety and wellbeing of our young people,” said Kermit Crawford, president and chief operating officer of Rite Aid Corporation and president of The Rite Aid Foundation. “The Rite Aid Foundation is proud to introduce this important prevention education to Seattle-area students. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in five high school seniors admits to misusing prescription drugs. It’s more important than ever to reach out to our students and arm them with the knowledge to prevent abuse before it occurs.”
The Rite Aid Foundation has made a three-year, $1.7 million commitment to Prescription Drug Safety program. This donation also funds the introduction of the Prescription Drug Safety program to high schools in Ohio, California, Michigan, Oregon and Pennsylvania. The program is expected to reach more than 400 high schools.