Kroger Pharmacy has expanded its partnership with education technology company Everfi to provide more classrooms and high schoolers with drug abuse prevention education through the Prescription Drug Safety Network. The flagship digital program gives students the knowledge and skills to make safe, informed decisions about prescription medications.
“We have to work together to identify a long-term solution to the prescription drug abuse epidemic our country is experiencing,” said Colleen Lindholz, president of Kroger Pharmacy and The Little Clinic. “In America, 78 people die each day from opioid overdose and another 20.8 million have a substance use disorder. Kroger is committed to offering resources in our stores, pharmacies and communities to be a part of the solution. This preventive education program is just one more way we are helping people, including our youth, lead healthier lives.”
The program takes an evidence-based, public-health approach. Through interactive scenarios and self-guided activities, students learn drug facts, how to properly use and dispose of medications, and how to respond in situations involving misuse. The course is aligned with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s national health education standards and state academic standards.
Adoption of the program is expected to grow to more than 270 schools in the new academic year, bringing the initiative to students in Atlanta; Dallas; Houston; Lansing, Mich.; Lexington and Louisville, Ky.; Memphis and Nashville, Tenn.; and Phoenix.
Last spring, 10 schools across the Cincinnati metropolitan area -- Kroger's home base -- took part in the program’s pilot, during which students boosted their understanding of prescription drug topics by 49 percent on average based on pre- to post-assessments, with the most meaningful impact occurring in the area of students’ ability and confidence to support a friend potentially at risk for prescription drug misuse.
“Prescription drug abuse has dealt a devastating blow to communities across the country, yet there are few initiatives aimed at positively preventing the abuse before it occurs,” said Tom Davidson, CEO of Washington, D.C.-based Everfi. “Through the Prescription Drug Safety Network, we are bringing together state officials, policy leaders, industry leaders, educators, and community organizations committed to combating abuse by investing in prevention education. Everyone needs to be at the table to help solve this crisis.”
Based in Cincinnati, The Kroger Co. employs nearly half a million associates serving more than 9 million customers daily through a seamless digital shopping experience and 2,800 retail food stores under various banner names. The company is No. 2 on Progressive Grocer's 2018 Super 50 list of the top grocers in the United States.