ShopRite Provides High Schools with Drug Safety Education

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MULLICA HILL, N.J. -

As the school year kicks off for many in our area, ShopRite officials are hoping to make an impact on New Jersey high school students by educating them on the dangers of the misuse of drugs.

“We're in the midst of a national health crisis at this point. Opioid related overdose death rates are at an all-time high," said Jeffrey Mondelli, RPh and vice president of pharmacy at ShopRite. "The CDC’s [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] recent figures say that there’s an overdose death every 15 minutes in this country — that’s terrifying. As community pharmacists we feel very important that we need to help change that.” 

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Over the years, ShopRite representatives have worked with community pharmacy associations to do just that.

“We are a part of associations that have made recommendations on opioid prescribing and dispensing to help change that," said Mondelli. "But in addition to that, we feel very strongly about education.”

Which is why ShopRite officials are trying to do their part to help decrease that number and better educate high school students about the dangers of prescription drug misuse.

“One in five high school students — and that’s a pretty scary figure — have reported misusing prescription drugs," said Mondelli. "And without proper education you’ll really see no change in behavior.” 

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Officials with ShopRite are bringing the Prescription Drug Safety Program, which was developed by Everfi and has been used across the country, to area high schools in five New Jersey counties, two of which, Camden and Gloucester, are in South Jersey.

“It’s digitally ran, so students will have the ability to go on to an online curriculum, take a pretest to establish what they learn today, then take a course, and take a post test to see if perceptions have changed and if behaviors will change," said Mondelli. "We’re very excited to offer this program to high schools in these districts and anyone who’s interested will be seeing solicitation from school’s managers in the area doing outreach.” 

They hope this outreach will help enlist more schools to sign up to use the Prescription Drug Safety Program.

“It’s a national program and we’re really happy to bring it to New Jersey," said Mondelli. "But we’ll be able to really see if we’re moving the needle through education.” 

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