Walgreens brings #ItEndsWithUs to Chicago

BY Michael Johnsen

Walgreens on Wednesday announced its national #ItEndsWithUs campaign is coming to Chicago to educate local teens on the opioid epidemic.

As part of WE Day Illinois at The Allstate Arena in Rosemont, 15,000 youth will hear real stories of addiction and how Walgreens is working to combat the nation’s opioid epidemic. The #ItEndsWithUs campaign objective is to provide teens with resources and positive steps they can take in their community, which are available at the #ItEndsWithUs hub at

The campaign will feature actor Brandon Larracuente from the popular Netflix series, “13 Reasons Why” and “Bloodline.” Larracuente, who lost a close friend to opioid addiction, will speak via video message to introduce the #ItEndsWithUs campaign. Larracuente will also introduce Becky Savage, a local mother who had two sons die from opioid overdose in the same night. The video above features Savage.

Savage is now working with Walgreens to educate teens on the risks of opioids.

“I believe there’s power in knowledge and that we can make a difference by talking about opioid misuse and abuse,” said Savage. “If my sons understood the risk of opioid overdose, I’m sure they would have made a different choice that night. I hope to raise more awareness through the #ItEndsWithUs campaign.”

Of the 2,278 Illinois statewide drug overdose deaths during 2016, more than 80% (1,826) were opioid-related fatalities.

Walgreens has also installed safe medication disposal kiosks in 600 of its pharmacies across 45 states and is in the process of expanding its program to an additional 900 Walgreens across the country. When the expansion is complete, safe medication disposal kiosks will be available in 1,500 Walgreens nationwide, including 80 locations throughout Illinois.

“We continue to be truly inspired by the response of the safe medication disposal program from communities around the country,” Rick Gates, Walgreens senior vice president of pharmacy and healthcare, said. “We are excited to continue our expansion program and believe it serves as an excellent example of health care organizations coming together in collaboration to address a real health crisis facing the country.”

Following WE Day Illinois, Walgreens will continue to create awareness on the opioid epidemic at its final WE Day event in Seattle on May 3, 2018. This event follows the campaign’s previous stops at WE Day California in Los Angeles, WE Day Texas in Dallas and launch at WE Day UN in New York City in September 2017.




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