WESTERVILLE — In August 2021, a study funded by the National Institutes of Health found that prescription medication misuse has increased among 10– to 14-year-olds in the first six months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the majority of people who misuse prescriptions drugs get them from a friend or family member, often from medicine cabinets in their own homes.
In response to this growing issue, Kroger as part of Kroger Health, Cardinal Health Foundation, and DisposeRx® will host drug take-back events at local pharmacy locations across the region on Saturday, October 23, the Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.
“Cardinal Health is committed to fighting prescription medication misuse,” said Jessie Cannon, Vice President of Community Relations at Cardinal Health. “Properly disposing of unused prescription medications is one of the easiest ways all of us can help prevent misuse, and remains a key message of Generation Rx, an evidence-informed prevention education program which offers age-appropriate resources to teach others about using medications safely.” (Generation Rx was founded at The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy and has been powered through a partnership with the Cardinal Health Foundation since 2009.)
Steve Burson, Kroger Columbus Division Health Leader, said, “Kroger Health welcomes the opportunity to again partner with Cardinal Health and DisposeRx to provide safe, convenient and anonymous locations to safely dispose of unused or expired prescription drugs.”
In Southern Ohio, the drug take-back event is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m at the 811 Gay Street, Portsmouth Kroger location. Local law enforcement officers will be on site to accept unused or expired pills, liquids, gels and patches just outside stores (no medications will be accepted inside stores).
“Kroger is an outstanding community partner, consistently illustrating their commitment to health and safety,” said William Simpson, president of DisposeRx. “We are delighted to collaborate with Kroger and Kroger Health to provide patient education materials and encourage prompt and proper disposal of unused medications.”
Every day, Kroger pharmacists are available at store locations to educate customers about proper medication use and disposal. In-store pharmacies also offer naloxone – the life-saving medication that helps reverse opioid overdose – and free DisposeRx at-home disposal packets for customers taking qualifying medications.
During the events, Kroger pharmacy associates will distribute free reusable shopping totes with DisposeRx at-home medication disposal packets and Generation Rx materials (note: quantities are limited).
The Cardinal Health Foundation has partnered with Kroger Health in hosting drug take-back events across the U.S. for several years; more than 100,000 pounds of unused prescription drugs have been collected for safe disposal during these events. To view the complete list of Kroger Health drug take-back event locations across the country, visit Kroger.com.