Friday, June 22, 2018

Major drug distributor Cardinal Health gives seven grants in Ky. to teach students about being safe with prescription drugs

Seven Kentucky health-care or social-service organizations are recipients of Cardinal Health Foundation grants to teach students in kindergarten through college about being safe with prescription drugs. Cardinal Health, a leading drug distributor, has been criticized and sued for its alleged role in worsening the nation's opioid epidemic.

They are Northeast Kentucky Area Health Education Center in Morehead, the Southern Kentucky AHEC in Mount Vernon, Centerstone Kentucky in Louisville, Children Inc. in Covington, Community United Methodist Hospital in Henderson, Juniper Health in Beattyville and Kings Daughters Medical Center in Ashland.

The Morehead AHEC said in a news release that it will use its $35,000 from the foundation's Generation Rx Prescription Drug Misuse Prevention Education for Youth grant program to create Prescription Education for Appalachian Kentucky Students, or PEAKS,.

Using Generation Rx education materials, the PEAKS project will deliver prevention information about prescription-drug misuse to about 500 high school and college students across northeastern Kentucky.

The program, which runs through spring 2019, will focus on students in Boyd, Clark, Fleming, Greenup, Lawrence, Powell and Rowan counties, chosen because of their overall high drug use and mortality rates.

“This project will be crucial for local students, as research indicates people are most likely to begin abusing drugs during adolescence and young adulthood," David Gross, director of the Northeast Kentucky AHEC, said in the release. " We look forward to helping prevent future prescription drug misuse even while efforts are underway to battle the current opioid epidemic.”

PEAKS is one of several opioid-related projects the Northeast Kentucky AHEC is working on, including one that focuses on medication-assisted treatment, says the release.

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