LECOM Pharmacy Students Speak About Prescription Drug Abuse

America’s biggest drug problem isn’t on the street; it’s in our medicine cabinets.

That was the theme as Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine School of Pharmacy students visited Lakewood Ranch High School in Bradenton, FL to raise awareness about the abuse and misuse of prescription and over-the-counter drugs through the Generation Rx Initiative.

LECOM third-year pharmacy student Jaclyn DeCrosta presents the Generation Rx Initiative to students at Lakewood Ranch High School.

“Everyday, approximately 2,500 young people between 12 and 17 years of age abuse a prescription painkiller for the first time,” said third-year pharmacy student Jaclyn DeCrosta. “Thousands of emergency department visits every year are related to prescription medication misuse or abuse.”

Approximately 500 students from Lakewood Ranch High’s freshman class filled the school’s auditorium. The interactive presentation featured both LECOM and the high school students acting out real life situations. The skits centered on the abuse of the painkiller Vicodin, over-the-counter drugs such as cough syrup and prescription medications like Adderall.

“When you see and hear students act out the scenes, it makes it more real,” said Lakewood Ranch freshman Lauren McDaniel.

The goal of the Generation Rx Initiative is to enhance the public's understanding of medication safety issues and those relating to prescription drug abuse.

Some other sobering statistics include:

  • Nationwide, 2.4 million youth say they have purposely taken huge doses of cough medicine to get high.
  • If you combine the amount of people who abuse ecstasy, cocaine, LSD, and heroin it is still less than the amount of people who abuse prescription pain relievers.

The presentation of the Generation Rx program is a collaborative effort between LECOM's Kappa Psi pharmaceutical fraternity, American Pharmacists Association - Academy of Student Pharmacists and American Society of Health System Pharmacist clubs.

The Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine and LECOM School of Pharmacy offer innovative and affordable education in osteopathic medicine and pharmacy. From campuses in Erie, Pennsylvania, Greensburg, Pennsylvania and Bradenton, Florida, LECOM provides student-centered pathways to prepare the next generation of healthcare professionals. Prepare yourself for medicine as your life’s profession.

December 9, 2010
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