NEW YORK, September 20, 2017 - Today, Walgreens, one of the nation’s largest drugstore chains, launches its new campaign “#ItEndsWithUs” to educate teens nationwide on the opioid epidemic. The campaign will be unveiled by actor Brandon Larracuente from Netflix’s popular series “13 Reasons Why” and “Bloodline.” Larracuente, who lost a close friend to the opioid epidemic, will speak to an audience of more than 6,000 youth at the WE Day UN in New York event at Madison Square Garden.
“I have personally been affected by the opioid epidemic. My friend was only 19 when she died and it only took one wrong, risk-taking decision to cost her, her life,” said Larracuente. “I’m honored to work with Walgreens to raise awareness of the issue with my generation and let them know of the resources the company has made available to customers nationwide. This epidemic ends with our generation.”
The #ItEndsWithUs campaign provides teens with resources and positive steps they can take in their community, which are all available at the #ItEndsWithUs hub at www.walgreens.com/itendswithus. Once there, visitors are greeted with a message from Larracuente and a personal testimonial from Francesca Paparone, a young woman who overcame her addiction and is now working with Walgreens to raise awareness. Together, both Paparone and Larracuente will speak to Walgreens safe medication disposal program that began in 2016 in their messages.
The safe medication disposal kiosks allow individuals to safely and conveniently dispose of their unwanted, unused or expired prescriptions, including controlled substances, and over-the-counter medications, year-round at no cost. The kiosks at Walgreens pharmacies are available during regular pharmacy hours and offer one of the best ways to ensure medications are not accidentally used or intentionally misused by someone else. Most people who misuse prescription drugs first obtain them from a family member or friend, often from a home medicine cabinet.
Kiosks are available in more than 600 pharmacies across 45 states and the District of Columbia; that’s more than 100 kiosks above the program’s original goal. In its first year, the program has resulted in the collection and disposal of 72 tons of unwanted medication, or the equivalent weight of about 40 midsize cars.
The #ItEndsWithUs campaign launches at a time when the national opioid crisis has escalated into an epidemic of addiction and overdose. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), overdose deaths among 15-to-19-year-olds spiked more than 19 percent between 2014 and 2015. The CDC also found that nearly half of all opioid overdose deaths involve a prescription opioid.
Walgreens will continue to raise awareness around the opioid epidemic at upcoming WE Day events in 2018, with the help of Larracuente engaging teens across the country. For more information about the #ItEndsWithUs campaign and how to get involved, visit www.walgreens.com/itendswithus.
Walgreens (walgreens.com), one of the nation’s largest drugstore chains, is included in the Retail Pharmacy USA Division of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (NASDAQ: WBA), the first global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise. More than 10 million customers interact with Walgreens each day in communities across America, using the most convenient, multichannel access to consumer goods and services and trusted, cost-effective pharmacy, health and wellness services and advice. Walgreens operates 8,175 drugstores with a presence in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, along with its omnichannel business, Walgreens.com. Approximately 400 Walgreens stores offer Healthcare Clinic or other provider retail clinic services.
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Emily Hartwig-Mekstan, 847-315-3316