Don’t Keep Rx Around™ is a medication safety program aimed at teaching young children the importance of medication safety and not touching medication. Using an avatar of a pill bottle, the program sensitizes young students to the message to “cap him,” “read him (the label),” and “throw him” to emphasize the importance of not sharing prescription medications. In 2018-19 WV DII has delivered the program to every kindergarten or pre-K classroom in Kanawha and Putnam counties reaching over 1,800 children. This year, we expanded our outreach with our school-based program to five West Virginia counties reaching over 2,220 children. The ultimate goal is to reach students in all 55 WV counties by 2021.
However, due to COVID-19, our school-based outreach came to an abrupt stop. We quickly worked with our partner, Murphy Media Inc. (Huntington, WV) to reengineer the program to include virtual, online delivery. During March, April, and June 2020 we reached over 40,000 households in 13 West Virginia counties with the program including three live streaming events with Rex™. We plan to continue our work to expand the footprint of the program in 2020-21.
WV DII is also sponsoring “Generation Rx” initiatives throughout West Virginia in partnership with the UC School of Pharmacy, we teach third graders in Kanawha and Putnam County classrooms about medication safety. Our Generation Rx programming will expand to additional counties in 2020-21. And, we are also launching a Collegiate Program in Fall 2020.
WV DII is also the lead partner to the Mayor’s Office for Charleston’s “CARE” program to coordinate the work of first responders and providers of care, treatment, and recovery for those struggling with addiction. Further, the Institute is working with the West Virginia Department of Corrections to provide voluntary implants for women who want to stop using drugs and to prevent the birth of addicted (NAS) babies. In addition, WV DII is collaborating with the WV Office of Drug Control Policy to develop strategies for direct pathways to recovery in Charleston, Kanawha County and throughout the state. Our most recent initiative, Project HELP connects callers to the HELP4WV to a Peer Recovery Support Specialist immediately to support individual pathways to recovery.
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