Last updated on April 24, 2014 at 12:48 EDT

Cardinal Health Foundation Announces Collaboration With The Partnership at Drugfree.org

April 11, 2012

DUBLIN, Ohio, April 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — The Cardinal Health Foundation today announced its collaboration with The Partnership at Drugfree.org on “Wake Up to Medicine Abuse,” a national education effort and call-to-action to curb the abuse of prescription medication.

“Wake Up to Medicine Abuse Week” is a first-of-its-kind, week-long public awareness campaign encouraging the public to take action against prescription drug abuse. Slated for September 23-29, the campaign encourages parents and the public-at-large to talk to children about the dangers of abusing prescription and over-the-counter medicines. It also promotes the safeguarding and proper disposal of unused medications.

“We’re pleased to collaborate with The Partnership at Drugfree.org to further understanding of the dangers of prescription drug abuse,” said George Barrett, chairman and chief executive officer of Cardinal Health. “Being part of the ‘Wake Up to Medicine Abuse’ campaign is a natural extension of the work we’ve been supporting through community outreach and education via our GenerationRx communications toolkit and community-based Medication Disposal Days.”

Prescription drug abuse is one of the biggest drug problems in the United States today, with the death toll from prescription painkillers alone tripling in the past decade.[1] Every day, 2,500 teens use a prescription drug to get high for the first time,[2] with many teens perceiving the medications to be safer and less addictive than “illegal” narcotics[3].

Due to these high levels of prescription drug abuse, drug overdoses are now the leading cause of accidental death in about a third of the states, outpacing fatalities from car accidents. Health care costs related to this behavior total $72.5 billion annually.[4]

The “Wake Up to Medicine Abuse” initiative aims to leverage both public and private sector resources to produce new public service announcements and coordinate public outreach, education and events to help people learn more about the problem and what they can do about it.

“Cardinal Health is committed to helping address the issue of fighting prescription drug abuse, and we look forward to collaborating with a growing list of sponsors from both the public and private sectors such as Covidien and PhRMA who all have a stake in this issue,” said Barrett.

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.

[1] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
[2] United States Drug Enforcement Administration
[3] Partnership Attitude Tracking Study (Partnership for a Drug-Free America)
[4] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

SOURCE Cardinal Health Foundation

Source: PR Newswire