Students in the GenerationRx Collaborative engaging with the community. Credit: Courtesy of Kelsey Schmuhl

An Ohio State program is aimed at stopping the stigma surrounding ’scripts.

Generation Rx, started by the College of Pharmacy in 2007, is a national program that educates people of all ages about the potential dangers of misusing prescription and over-the-counter medications, according to Generation Rx’s website. 

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more than 6 million Americans ages 12 and older have used a prescription drug nonmedically in the past month.

The program’s goal is to provide educational materials, called tool kits, that anyone can use to learn about safe medication practices and present to their community to help with the epidemic, Emily Keeler, wellness and community builder for the College of Pharmacy, said.

“We can all help out our community, and this is one resource people can use to promote safe medication-taking practices,” Keeler said.

Kelsey Schmuhl, assistant professor of clinical pharmacy and student adviser of the Generation Rx collaborative, said the beauty of Generation Rx is that the materials are readily available to the public to give presentations, whether in a school, at a health fair or in a senior living center. The tool kits are organized as elementary, teen, college, adult, older adult, patient and workplace.

“Generation Rx helps teach safe medication practice across the life span, regardless of age, and educates people about the potential dangers,” Schmuhl said.

Schmuhl said the students who participate in the university organization, The Generation Rx Collaborative — formed after the national program began — are heavily embedded in the outside community and are passionate about educating the general public.

“The students are the ones going out into the community disseminating this information and teaching safe medication practices,” Schmuhl said.

The issue of prescription drug misuse has become a large problem that people see in the news every day, and students at Ohio State want to be a part of the solution, Schmuhl said.

“They can tell they are making a difference in their community and serving as a prevention effort as we are going through this public health issue,” Schmuhl said.

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