What does Ohio State mean to medication safety?
Every day, approximately 7,000 Americans abuse a prescription medication for the first time and 100 people die from drug overdoses. College of Pharmacy Assistant Dean Kenneth Hale, RPh, PhD, noticed these rising statistics in 2007 and created the Generation RX Initiative, an outreach program that has mobilized over 300 students, faculty, staff, and alumni with peer-directed projects.
Professor Hale and his co-leader Professor Nicole Kwiek, clinical assistant professor of pharmacology and assistant director of educational outreach, say they help guide their student volunteers, but mostly let them decide how to get the message out. “Students are among our most creative, passionate, and effective advocates for prescription drug abuse prevention,” according to Professor Kwiek.
College of Pharmacy graduate Caleb Craft is one of these volunteers. He directed and produced a documentary chronicling the consequences of prescription drug abuse in his hometown of Ironton, Ohio. He says, “I have friends who are in prison, sick, or alienated from their families because of their prescription drug abuse.”
Medina Rasul, an Ohio State freshman, has been involved with Generation RX since she was in high school. “I want to combine my interest in pharmacy with my passion for counseling young people.” Medina has developed toolkits to coach kids in her high school.
Educational materials are available for free on the web sites for the Generation RX Initiative and the Cardinal Health Foundation, the program’s corporate partner.