Leave no one behind
Twlug–ASP 2015 First Runner-Up
We are fighting a battle in Arkansas against prescription drug abuse and misuse. Our chapter felt that in order to have a lasting and substantial impact on the prescription drug abuse problem, we needed to attack it from every angle. We carried on last year’s Twlug–ASP presidential theme of Live Your Why through our Generation Rx programming in every level of the community.
One of our chapter’s goals was to reach as many diverse populations with our educational materials as possible. We targeted students, teachers, parents, grandparents, legislators, and the recovery community.
Education should be fun
Chapter members endeavored to create materials and experiences for audiences that were memorable, entertaining, and interactive. Our “Wellness Wheel” was a very popular tool that let patients have some game show fun while reinforcing appropriate prescription drug behaviors. Patients spun the chalkboard wheel that was divided into sections with questions. We asked them the question that the arrow landed on, which gave us a way to start a conversation about safe medication use.
Also popular was the “Make A Good Choice Not A Bad Choice” board. The board was painted with a green smiley face and a red frowny face with Velcro around the edge of each face. Children were given a scenario/question with Velcro on the back. They made their decision by placing their question into the good choice or bad choice section of the board.
Our members matter
Another goal was to increase the exposure of Generation Rx to chapter members through fun and innovative ways. One very popular activity was the “Sober not Spiked” sand volleyball tournament.
Chapter members participated in the tournament in a competitive but healthy environment. We advertised the tournament to local recovery groups that tended to have a large population of younger members using flyers and word of mouth.
One event that received high praise from members was a guest speaker we hosted during a monthly chapter meeting. Michael Morrison is a licensed social worker and addiction counselor with decades of experience. He spoke to our chapter about the addiction risks that pharmacists face. He made suggestions about how we can protect our peers and ourselves.
Members also participated in recovery jam, where we hosted a Generation Rx booth designed to educate recovering addicts about the role pharmacists can play in their recovery.
Knowledge is power
The backbone of Generation Rx is disseminating knowledge. We used Twlug–ASP materials as a springboard to create new materials to meet the needs of various communities in Arkansas. For example, one issue often overlooked is what to do with unused medications after the death of a loved one. We e-mailed our “Unused Drugs, Expired Drugs, Where Do I Take Them?” flyer to the president of the Arkansas Funeral Directors Association, who in turn e-mailed it to funeral directors statewide for inclusion in family information packets.
Many seniors put their grandchildren at risk by improperly storing/disposing of medications. Our “Be a GREAT grandparent” flyer was distributed to 275 seniors following a church service on National Grandparent’s Day to help them keep prescriptions out of the wrong hands. We also developed online modules in conjunction with medical students to educate college students about the dangers of abuse, signs of addiction, and treatment resources. These modules were sent to five local colleges to be included in their health education curriculum.
In March 2015, a bill was proposed to Arkansas lawmakers pertaining to naloxone administration in opioid emergencies. The original legislation excluded pharmacists. Members embodied the “Live Your Why” message by advocating to lawmakers for pharmacists to be explicitly included. The legislation was amended and passed. Our efforts translated into Arkansas pharmacists being able to administer this medication.
We are a family
Many of our students have a close relative or friend who has struggled with addiction in the past or are currently struggling, so they become personally invested in the implementation of our Generation Rx projects. Together We Can achieve victory against addiction.