SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, Walgreens, a provider of trusted care in communities since 1901, brings its national “#ItEndsWithUs” campaign to Seattle to educate local teens on the opioid epidemic.
As part of WE Day Seattle at KeyArena, thousands of youth will hear real stories of addiction and how Walgreens is working to combat the nation’s opioid epidemic. The #ItEndsWithUs campaign seeks to provide teens with resources and positive steps that they can take in their community, which are available at the #ItEndsWithUs hub at www.walgreens.com/itendswithus.
The campaign features actor Brandon Larracuente from the popular Netflix series, “13 Reasons Why” and “Bloodline.” Larracuente, who lost a close friend to opioid addiction, will speak via video message to introduce the #ItEndsWithUs campaign. Larracuente will also introduce Becky Savage, a local mother who had two sons die from opioid overdose in the same night. Savage is now working with Walgreens to educate teens on the risks of opioids.
“I believe there’s power in knowledge and that we can make a difference by talking about opioid misuse and abuse,” said Savage. “If my sons understood the risk of opioid overdose, I’m sure they would have made a different choice that night. I hope to raise more awareness through the #ItEndsWithUs campaign.”
Savage will speak about Walgreens safe medication disposal program that began in 2016. Walgreens safe medication disposal kiosks allow individuals to safely and conveniently dispose of their unwanted, unused or expired prescriptions year-round at no cost, including controlled substances and over-the-counter medications. Safe medication disposal kiosks are available in select Walgreens pharmacies in the greater Seattle area during regular pharmacy hours. Most people who misuse prescription drugs first obtain them from a family member or friend, often from a home medicine cabinet.
The #ItEndsWithUs campaign was introduced as another platform to further Walgreens efforts to help combat the national opioid crisis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), overdose deaths among 15-to-19-year-olds spiked more than 19 percent between 2014 and 2015. The CDC also found that nearly half of all opioid overdose deaths involve a prescription opioid.
In 2016, CDC numbers show more than 42,000 people died nationally and about 764 in Washington state from opioids. According to the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute of Washington University, prescribed opioids killed 107 people in King County in 2016, up from 97 in 2015.
As part of its comprehensive national plan to combat drug abuse, Walgreens has made naloxone, a lifesaving opioid overdose antidote, available without requiring a prescription in Walgreens pharmacies in Seattle. Naloxone can be used in the event of an overdose to reverse the effects of heroin or other opioid drugs, and is administered by injection or nasal spray.
Walgreens has also installed safe medication disposal kiosks in 600 of its pharmacies across 45 states and is in the process of expanding its program to an additional 900 Walgreens across the country. When the expansion is complete, safe medication disposal kiosks will be available in 1,500 Walgreens nationwide, including nearly 20 locations throughout Washington.
The #ItEndsWithUs campaign educated thousands of youth nationwide on the opioid epidemic. Since its initial launch at WE Day UN in New York City in September 2017, the campaign also reached youth at WE Day Texas in Dallas, WE Day California in Los Angeles and WE Day Illinois in Chicago.
Walgreens will continue to raise awareness around the opioid epidemic through 2018 and beyond to help curb opioid misuse and abuse. To learn more, visit www.walgreens.com/combatdrugabuse.
Walgreens (walgreens.com), a provider of trusted care in communities since 1901, is included in the Retail Pharmacy USA Division of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (NASDAQ: WBA), the first global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise. Approximately 8 million customers interact with Walgreens in stores and online each day, using the most convenient, multichannel access to consumer goods and services and trusted, cost-effective pharmacy, health and wellness services and advice. Walgreens operates 8,100 drugstores with a presence in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, along with its omnichannel business, Walgreens.com. Approximately 400 Walgreens stores offer Healthcare Clinic or other provider retail clinic services.
*CDC Fighting Opioid Overdose, https://www.cdc.gov/features/fighting-opioid-overdose/index.html