It was misinformation that helped fuel the current opioid addiction epidemic, so CVS Health aims to use information to help combat it. As such, it has partnered with DoSomething.org to create a peer-to-peer prevention and intervention programs delivered to young people via text message and online.
CVS Health is also renewing its Pharmacists Teach program, which connects CVS pharmacists to local high school students in their communities to discuss the dangers of prescription drug abuse. Entering its second year, the program has already reached more than 100,000 students across the country.
"As a pharmacy innovation company, we care deeply about preventing drug abuse among young people and we are proud of these unique programs that will make a meaningful difference for so many teens and their families," said Helena Foulkes, president, CVS Pharmacy. "We have seen tremendous enthusiasm from our CVS pharmacists, who have volunteered to speak to more than 100,000 students about the dangers of prescription drug abuse as part of our Pharmacists Teach program, which will continue into this new school year. And, we are pleased to expand on our abuse prevention efforts with a new program to reach young people digitally through our partnership with DoSomething.org."
Launching this fall, the CVS Health Foundation's campaign with DoSomething.org, an organization focused on empowering young people to take action to address meaningful social causes, will activate youth to combat prescription drug abuse and misuse. The text message experience will counter the perception that prescription drugs are safer than illicit drugs, teach behaviors that guard against abuse, prepare young people to confront their peers about abuse and challenge the misconception that prescription drug abuse and misuse is normal. The campaign is designed to reach millions of young people through text, email, social media, youth-focused marketing and PSAs.
"DoSomething.org is committed to giving young people ways to take action on important issues that they care about," said Aria Finger, CEO at DoSomething.org. "We're thrilled that CVS Health is making it a priority as a company to address such an important issue and that we're partnering to equip young people with the tools they need to talk to their friends and family members about the misuse and abuse of prescription painkillers."
CVS Health is also continuing the Pharmacists Teach program it launched last fall into the 2016-2017 school year. Through this program, school administrators and teachers across the country can work with the company to arrange for local CVS pharmacists to speak to high school-aged students. The Pharmacists Teach presentation, developed in coordination with the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, educates students about the dangers of prescription drug abuse and teaches them that one choice can change everything in their lives.