$100,000 grant will be used to help community pharmacists, colleges, universities fight growing problem of prescription medication abuse through education, outreach
DUBLIN, Ohio, Oct. 28, 2009 — The Cardinal Health Foundation today announced that it has awarded The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy a $100,000 grant to create education and outreach programs that empower pharmacists, colleges and universities to fight prescription medication abuse and misuse in their communities.
According to the Ohio Department of Health, more than a quarter of all Ohio high school students have reported using a prescription medication without a doctor’s prescription. The abuse and misuse of prescription drugs is second only to marijuana use as the nation’s most prevalent drug problem, and more than 16.2 million Americans age 12 and older have taken a prescription pain reliever, tranquilizer, stimulant or sedative for non-medical reasons.
"When used as intended, prescription and over-the-counter medications are safe and can improve and save lives. However, when they are not taken as intended, these medications can lead to addictions, health problems and even death,” said Ken Hale, assistant dean for Professional and External Affairs at The Ohio State University. “With more Americans abusing prescription drugs than cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens and inhalants combined, it’s clear that more needs to be done to combat this growing societal issue. With support from the Cardinal Health Foundation, the programming that we are developing will help more Americans understand prescription medication abuse and how to prevent it.”
Shelley Bird, executive vice president of Cardinal Health and chairperson of the Cardinal Health Foundation, said “We know that in most communities, patients look to their neighborhood pharmacist as the trusted health care resource they visit most. The goal of this funding is to develop tools and resources that pharmacists and pharmacy students can use to improve the overall health of their communities by educating patients and peers about how to detect and prevent the abuse and misuse of prescription medications.”
The educational materials that will be developed by The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy as a result of this grant funding will help pharmacists and pharmacy students educate their communities about the dangers of prescription medication abuse and misuse; how to safely store and dispose of prescription medications; how to identify signs and symptoms that someone they love may be abusing or misusing medications; and action steps they can take to prevent this issue in their homes and communities.
After an initial pilot rollout among Ohio pharmacies, colleges and universities, Cardinal Health and The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy plan to make these educational materials available for use nationwide.
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 cardinalhealth.com/community.