SOURCE: American Pharmacists Association

April 20, 2016 15:20 ET

APhA-ASP Chapter Receives FBI Honor for Efforts in Fight Against Prescription Drug Abuse

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - April 20, 2016) - The FBI recognized and honored The University of New Mexico College of Pharmacy (UNM) chapter of the American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) for its dedication and work in tackling prescription drug abuse in New Mexico through the national initiative, Generation Rx.

Generation Rx is brought to APhA-ASP through a collaboration with the Cardinal Health Foundation, The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy and the APhA Foundation. It is an educational program that increases public awareness of prescription medication abuse and encourages health care providers, community leaders, parents, teens, and college students to actively work to prevent abuse.

The UNM APhA-ASP chapter received an engraved crystal award at a ceremony last week in Washington, DC, to commemorate the students' efforts. Nicole Perea, a third-year student pharmacist at UNM and local APhA-ASP Generation Rx Chair, accepted the award.

"Our students have worked so hard and to see their efforts recognized is an amazing feeling," said Perea. "Pharmacists and student pharmacists are ideal for this type of outreach because we are the medication experts with the skills to educate the public," she added.

Student pharmacists have used the Generation Rx initiative to educate and provide community outreach to address prescription drug abuse and misuse across the state. New Mexico ranks among the states with the highest rate of opioid overdose related deaths in the country, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Generation Rx provides a variety of outreach tools for pharmacists and student pharmacists to use, including educational toolkits. With these resources student pharmacists are able to deliver scenario-based presentations in high schools, create billboards, launch social media campaigns, and participate in prescription drug "take-back" events.

All UNM student pharmacists are extensively involved in community outreach activities. "We are able to educate others on the dangers of abusing prescription medications using the same skills we use to counsel our patients," Perea noted.

The UNM Generation Rx program collaborates with community groups, schools, the Parent-Teacher Association of New Mexico and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to address prescription drug abuse and misuse. Through these partnerships, the work the APhA-ASP chapter has done with Generation Rx has touched the lives of nearly 20,000 New Mexicans.

About the American Pharmacists Association
The American Pharmacists Association, founded in 1852 as the American Pharmaceutical Association, is a 501 (c)(6) organization, representing more than 63,000 practicing pharmacists, pharmaceutical scientists, student pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and others interested in advancing the profession. APhA, dedicated to helping all pharmacists improve medication use and advance patient care, is the first-established and largest association of pharmacists in the United States. For more information, please visit www.pharmacist.com.

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