April 12— The West Virginia Drug Intervention Institute (WV DII), Inc. DisposeRx®, and Fruth Pharmacy have partnered to spread the word about medication safety. The organizations will go LIVE on April 15, 2021 at 3pm (at: www.wvdii.org) with the WV DII’s medication safety ambassador, Rex the Rx™ to share with West Virginia families the importance of safe medication disposal and storage. The live event will promote National “Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet Day” on April 16 and the DEA National Drug Take Back Day on April 24 with the message—“Start Today, Make It Every Day, Don’t Keep Rx Around™.”
"We went through the process in 2019 of having the third Friday in April designated as National Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet Day to remind the public about the importance of disposing of unused medications," said William Simpson, DisposeRx president. "However, this year, we are evolving our message to encourage people to maintain their medicine cabinets every day so that medications do not get into the wrong hands. We are delighted to partner with WV DII and Fruth Pharmacy to help amplify this important communication."
The three organizations have launched a medication safety initiative for families and young children using the Institute’s Don’t Keep Rex Around™ Medication Safety Program. The goal is to help educate Fruth customers and families of young children about the dangers prescription medications can pose in the home. Activity sheets and medication safety pamphlets along with DisposeRx® medication disposal packets are available FREE to all Fruth customers through June 30, 2021.
Created by WV DII President, Dr. Susan Bissett and CEO of Murphy Media, Joe Murphy, the program uses a live-action, real time generated, cartoon avatar (a pill bottle) named Rex™ to help educate young children about the importance of not touching medication without the help of a trusted adult and to never share medications. The program has been delivered to pre-k and kindergarten classrooms in five WV counties this past year. However, with schools shuttered due to COVID-19, the WV DII is taking a new approach bringing Rex™ to Fruth Pharmacy and LIVE online to share the importance of medication safety.
“During this time of social distancing and stay at home orders, families are closer in proximity than ever before,” explained Dr. Susan Bissett, WV DII President. “Life is disrupted and medications may be more accessible to small children. We are taking this opportunity to educate families about safe medication disposal and storage.”
Data released by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse in April 2018 reported a 93% annual increase in unintentional prescription medication exposure among children 5 and younger. The report also indicated that 9 of 10 unintentional childhood poisonings occur at home. In addition, poison control centers receive an average of 32 calls a day for children exposed to opioids—60% of those calls are for children under 5 years of age. And, 48% of all pediatric medication exposures are from grandparents’ medications.
You can learn more about medication safety or request a DiposeRx® Medication Safety Packet by visiting: www.wvdii.org/medicationsafety.