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Cardinal Health Foundation, The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy Partner to Educate Teens About Prescription Drug Abuse

New, Teen-Focused Educational Toolkit Developed in Response to Success of GenerationRx Initiative, Growing Customer and Employee Interest in Youth Outreach

DUBLIN, Ohio, Dec. 15, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, approximately 2,500 young people between 12 and 17 years of age abuse a prescription painkiller for the first time, every day.

Even though unintentional prescription drug poisoning has emerged as the second leading cause of accidental death in the United States1, many teens perceive these medications to be safer and less addictive than "illegal" narcotics2.

To address these alarming trends, the Cardinal Health Foundation and The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy have teamed up once again, this time to launch the new GenerationRx Youth Toolkit, available for free download at

It offers health care providers, pharmacists, parents, teachers, youth group leaders and other concerned citizens unique, interactive resources to educate teens about the realities and dangers of prescription drug abuse.

Developed with input from pharmacists and educators, the new GenerationRx Youth Toolkit contains all of the materials needed to deliver a highly interactive, 30-60 minute presentation to a teen audience on the topic of prescription drug abuse. It includes talking points, presentation materials and tips, visual aids and thorough instructions for all program activities. The versatile, user-friendly toolkit allows the program to be presented in a variety of environments – from formal classroom settings to after-school programming, youth programs and extracurricular events.

It's the latest advancement in a broader partnership between the Cardinal Health Foundation and The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy to increase public awareness of prescription medication abuse and to encourage health care providers, community leaders, parents, teens and college students to actively work to prevent it. Since the original Generation Rx Toolkit for adult audiences was launched by the two partners, it has been downloaded nearly 1,000 times.

"More than one-third of teens feel pressure to abuse prescription drugs, and nearly 40 percent incorrectly perceive prescription drugs as being much safer to abuse than 'street' drugs," said Nicole Cartwright Kwiek, clinical assistant professor and assistant director for Educational Outreach at The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy. "By engaging rather than lecturing, the program empowers teens to share accurate information about the realities of prescription drug abuse with their peers – enhancing prevention efforts and impeding the spread of dangerous myths."

While the Generation Rx Youth Toolkit largely complements the content included in the original GenerationRx toolkit for adult audiences, the youth curriculum specifically appeals to the unique learning styles of teens. It leverages games, skits and discussion prompts to engage participants and promote peer-to-peer prevention efforts.

Cardinal Health and The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy have also partnered with the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) to make the toolkits available to student pharmacists at 120 colleges and schools of pharmacy throughout the United States.  Student pharmacists who are members of the American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) will be encouraged to use GenerationRx materials in presentations to local schools and to serve as advocates for prescription drug abuse prevention in their respective communities.  

"Cardinal Health customers and employees are passionate about educating the public about the dangers of prescription drug abuse and misuse, and our new youth toolkit was created in direct response to their interest in speaking directly to teens about this growing public health issue," said Jessica Lineberger, community relations manager for Cardinal Health. "We look forward to continuing to partner with The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy, the American Pharmacists Association, our customers and employees to raise public awareness that America's biggest drug problem isn't on the street, it's in our medicine cabinets."

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's (NYSE: CAH) 30,000 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. To learn more, visit

1Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

2Partnership Attitude Tracking Study (Partnership for a Drug-Free America)

SOURCE: Cardinal Health

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