ShopRite Pharmacy is standing behind Prescription Drug Safety, a new educational initiative intended to empower New Jersey high school students with the skills to make safe and healthy decisions about prescription medications and understand the dangers of misusing these drugs.
The digital program, developed by Everfi, an education technology company, is used in one in seven high schools nationwide. It will be available this fall in 30 high schools across Essex, Ocean, Monmouth, Gloucester and Camden counties, all at no cost to the schools.
Prescription drug abuse continues to tighten its grip on the country and the state, with New Jersey experiencing more than 1,000 opioid-related deaths so far this year. Recognizing the severity of this crisis, the state recently announced the creation of a new office to combat the epidemic.
“ShopRite Pharmacy is proud to bring critical prevention education to high school students so they can gain awareness and build the skills they need to protect themselves and prevent abuse before it occurs,” said Karen Meleta, spokesperson for ShopRite.
The Prescription Drug Safety program uses an evidence-based, public-health approach to reach high school students. 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 CDC’s national health education standards and state academic standards.
“As community pharmacists, we are close to our patients and recognize that education and prevention are the keys to preventing prescription drug misuse and abuse,” said Jeffrey Mondelli, RPh, VP of pharmacy for ShopRite. “We also know that today’s high school students face unique challenges, and this knowledge is critical for them to have. Our support of this new program is part of our ongoing commitment to combating the opioid epidemic in the communities our stores serve through targeted, preventive educational outreach.”
The digital prescription drug abuse prevention course is the flagship initiative of the Prescription Drug Safety Network, the nation’s first public-private initiative to combat prescription drug abuse by providing prevention education to schools across the U.S. Network partners include a diverse group of state leaders, industry leaders, educators, community-based organizations and foundations. Since the network’s inception in fall 2017, network partners have already reached more than 90,000 students across the U.S. with Everfi’s digital curriculum.
ShopRite is the registered trademark of Wakefern Food Corp., a retailer-owned cooperative based in Keasbey, New Jersey. With more than 270 ShopRite supermarkets located throughout New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware and Maryland, ShopRite serves more than six million customers each week.