Resource for Pharmacists to Raise Prescription Drug Abuse Awareness

MARCH 09, 2015
AWARxE is a free resource created by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy to raise awareness on the dangers of prescription drug abuse.

It includes patient information written in lay language and stories from individuals who have struggled with prescription drug abuse, as well as family members who have lost loved ones as a consequence.

Additionally, AWARxE teaching materials for pharmacists and student pharmacists to educate youth from grade school to college. It is astounding that 4 of every 10 teens believe that prescription medications are much safer to abuse than illicit drugs, even if they are not prescribed by a physician.1

Individuals can sign up to receive free email alerts through the prescription drug safety newsletter. AWARxE also includes a drug disposal site locator, drug abuse statistics, news updates, prescription drug abuse studies, and counterfeit medication information.1 

Pharmacists can offer this beneficial resource to their communities. I have educated middle school, college, and graduate students, as well as their parents, on the dangers of prescription drug abuse, and it has truly been a rewarding experience. Additionally, I recommend involving your pharmacy students on community rotations. 

As pharmacists, we can truly make a difference in the community by preventing and raising awareness on the dangers of prescription drug abuse.
 
Reference:
  1. AWARxE. Available at www.awarerx.org. Accessed March 7, 2015.


Jennifer Gershman, PharmD, CPh
Jennifer Gershman, PharmD, CPh
Jennifer Gershman, PharmD, CPh, received her PharmD degree from Nova Southeastern University (NSU) College of Pharmacy in 2006 and completed a 2-year drug information residency. She served as a pharmacy professor at NSU’s College of Pharmacy for 6 years, managed the drug information center, and conducted medication therapy management reviews. Dr. Gershman has published research on prescription drug abuse, regulatory issues, and drug information in various scholarly journals. Additionally, she received the Sheriff’s Special Recognition Award for her collaboration with the Broward, Florida Sheriff’s Office to prevent prescription drug abuse through a drug disposal program. She has also presented at pharmacist and physician continuing education programs on topics that include medication errors, prescription drug abuse, and legal and regulatory issues. Dr. Gershman can be followed on Twitter @jgershman2
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