WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark announced that it has joined with a group of public and private sector partners and will sponsor the "The Medicine Abuse Project," a multiyear effort by The Partnership at Drugfree.org to raise awareness and curb the abuse of prescription drugs and over-the-counter medicines. The project's goal is to prevent half a million teens from abusing medicines over the next five years.
"It is startling that 1-in-6 teens has taken a prescription drug without a prescription and that the majority of teens who abuse medications get them from the homes of family and friends," CVS Caremark president and CEO Larry Merlo said. "As a pharmacy innovation company, we have a responsibility to educate people about medication abuse. These efforts are an important part of CVS Caremark's purpose to help people on their path to better health."
Steve Pasierb, president and CEO of The Partnership at Drugfree.org added, "Our new research underscores that Americans drastically underestimate the negative impact that prescription drug and over-the-counter medicine abuse is having on teens today. We are deeply grateful to CVS Caremark for enthusiastically joining this collaborative Project to effectively address the intentional abuse of medicines. With the support of CVS Caremark and their reach into communities across the nation, we are taking action and helping turn the tide on this growing epidemic."
The Medicine Abuse Project will encourage parents to talk with their kids about the dangers of abusing prescription and OTC medicines and will provide information on safeguarding and properly disposing of unused medications. Part of the Project is a National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, facilitated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, which will take place on Sept. 29, with collection sites across the country where consumers can safely dispose of their unused medications.
"Every day our pharmacists talk to customers about how to take their medications as directed so they can get and stay healthy," added Merlo, who himself is a pharmacist. "This effort to counsel patients and families about the dangers of inappropriately taking medications, as well as how to safeguard medications in the home, is equally important."
CVS Caremark will be participating in The Medicine Abuse Project by posting information on the company's websites and social media channels; linking to the campaign's website; providing information at CVS/pharmacy locations; and taking part in The Partnership at Drugfree.org's awareness-building events.