AAOA, Rio Host Discussion on College Campus Opioid Abuse and Misuse Prevention

RIO GRANDE, Ohio, May 31, 2018 Today, Allied Against Opioid Abuse (AAOA) and the University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College (Rio) brought together administrators from surrounding universities to hold a discussion about preventing prescription opioid abuse and misuse among college students.

“College campuses are not immune to the opioid abuse epidemic. In fact, research shows that one in 10 undergraduates report misusing prescription painkillers,” said Michelle Johnston, President of Rio. “By hearing firsthand experiences about how other universities are working to prevent instances of opioid abuse on campus, we can put initiatives in place to ensure our students understand the importance of safe use, storage and disposal of prescription opioids and can take the knowledge with them after graduation.”

AAOA is a national coalition made up of stakeholders from healthcare, public health and the pharmaceutical supply chain that are working to identify where collaborative efforts can make a meaningful difference in preventing opioid abuse and misuse in communities nationwide. AAOA has created a suite of educational materials to help raise awareness about the safe and proper use, storage and disposal of opioids, available at www.AgainstOpioidAbuse.org.

“There is an urgent need to raise awareness and educate about the steps that can be taken to reduce the misuse and abuse of opioids,” said John Parker, Senior Vice President of Communications for the Healthcare Distribution Alliance, AAOA’s founding partner. “AAOA is committed to making sure students, faculty and staff on these campuses know and understand the rights, risks and responsibilities associated with these pain medicines, which will help prevent any old or unused medications from ending up in the wrong hands.”

The prevention-focused event featured representatives from Rio, Kennesaw State University (Georgia), Marshall University (West Virginia), Ohio University, Shawnee State University, Southern State Community College and the Ohio Department of Higher Education to share best practices and resources to help higher education institutions combat the opioid abuse epidemic.

“It is critical that we work together and learn from each other if we are going to help raise awareness on our campuses about the devastating effects of this public health crisis,” said Homer Preece, Director of the Mid-Ohio Valley Center at Marshall University. “We look forward to continued collaboration as we develop programs and protocols to educate our students, faculty and staff around the safe use, proper storage and disposal of prescription opioids, which is an important step in preventing abuse and misuse.”

For all press inquiries, please contact Press@AgainstOpioidAbuse.org.

Teresa Wren Johnston of Kennesaw State University and the Association of Recovery in Higher Education discussed best practices for implementing opioid abuse prevention education on college campuses.

About Allied Against Opioid Abuse
Allied Against Opioid Abuse is a national education and awareness initiative to help prevent abuse and misuse of prescription opioids. Founded by the Healthcare Distribution Alliance, the initiative is a collaborative effort with diverse partners across the pharmaceutical supply chain, as well as organizations that are experts in public health and healthcare, including Alliance for Aging Research, American Physical Therapy Association, Caregiver Action Network, Healthcare Leadership Council, Mental Health America, National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations, National Community Pharmacists Association, National Council on Patient Information and Education and the PA Foundation. Our goal is to contribute to solving the opioid crisis in a meaningful way by educating patients about their rights, risks and responsibilities. To learn more, visit www.AgainstOpioidAbuse.org or follow us on Twitter: @AAOA_Tweets.