Throughout the month of May, Powell Pharmacy partnered with volunteers from The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, the Charitable Pharmacy of Central Ohio, and Ohio Healthy Pharmacy to help spread the mission of Generation Rx by educating elementary students on the importance of medication safety using the Generation Rx Elementary Toolkit. The event reached approximately 1,200 elementary students in grades K-5 at both Indian Springs Elementary and Liberty Tree Elementary School.
According to the data collected by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration’s National Survey regarding drug usage, between 6 and 7 million Americans, ages 12 and older, have misused a prescription medication in the past month, with approximately 5,500 individuals doing so for the first time every day. This staggering statistic was a central driving force behind the mission of the Powell Pharmacy, the organizer for the events, to educate young students.
“Because prescription and over-the-counter medicines are typically accessible and visible in our homes, we at Powell Pharmacy believe children should understand prescription and over-the-counter medication safety at an early age,” Emlah Turbo, the owner of Powell Pharmacy, said.
In order to teach young students about the importance of safe medicine practices, 19 Generation Rx student and pharmacist volunteers set out to create and friendly and comfortable environment for students to learn. They guided the children through a variety of interactive games such as Candy vs. Medicine, Prescription Label Lookout, Good Choice vs. Bad Choice, and more.
“These activities emphasized the importance of storing medications out of the reach of children, only taking medications from a trusted adult, not sharing your medicines, and students also learned the role of a pharmacist,” said Turbo.
The students also learned how to ask a trusted adult any questions they might have about taking medications. In order to continue the education beyond the classroom, each student was given a parent letter to take home that explained the program they participated in and provided more information for how to continue instilling the principles of medication safety.
“All 10 days spent at Indian Spring Elementary School and Liberty Tree Elementary School could not have been possible without the time and enthusiasm from all of the volunteers as well as the wonderful school counselors Kristi Litzenberg (Indian Springs) and Heather Byerly (Liberty Tree),“ said Turbo. “This program would not have been a success without their positive attitude and expertise.”
Generation Rx is a medication safety program designed to educate people of all ages about the potential dangers of misusing prescription medications. In doing so, Generation Rx strives to enhance medication safety among youth, college students, adults, and older adults. Free turn-key resources, including the Elementary Toolkit used above, are available at GenerationRx.org.