AWARxE was founded by the Minnesota Pharmacists Foundation in 2009. MPF strongly believes that pharmacists have a critical role in providing medication safety information and helping raise awareness of the dangers of abusing and misusing medications.
MPF is providing specific AWARxE in the state of Minnesota. St. Cloud, MN was the home of Justin Pearson, the young man whose death was the inspiration of AWARxE. Due to Justin’s story, Minnesota feels an elevated responsibility to educate the public on the vital public safety and public health issue of prescription drug abuse and misuse.
The Minnesota focused initiatives include AWARxE school and corporate presentations, which directly align with the following goals:
Inform parents and children of prescription drug abuse and misuse dangers.
Inform people of safe and proper medication disposal options.
Alert parents and children of the danger of online pharmacies. Let people know there is a chance they could be getting counterfeit medications.
Help people understand the importance of their relationship with their pharmacist in obtaining their prescription drugs.
Address the public perception gap – medicine is more than a commodity and individuals must take personal responsibility for their health care.
Progress to date includes:
AWARxE provides a wide variety of educational tools and programs for youth.
During the 2010-2011 school year, student pharmacists delivered 100 presentations about prescription drug use and abuse to middle school students in the Twin Cities and
Duluth, impacting 2,582 students. Middle school students are targeted because 12- and
13-year-olds are the most common abusers of prescription drugs. These educational
presentations provide vital information and a mentoring opportunity for college and
middle school students. The goal for the 2011-2012 school year is to deliver a minimum
of 150 presentations, primarily in the Twin Cities metro area.
AWARxE billboards can be found on major highways across Minnesota, and the
campaign’s commercials and radio spots are broadcast on major stations. Educational
brochures are distributed to students during presentations.
AWARxE has created a guide for the safe disposal of medication that can be used at “take back” events across the country. Keeping old prescriptions may lead to misuse, and
disposing the drugs by flushing them down the toilet can be harmful to the environment.
At “take back” events, police officers collect prescription drugs and dispose of them in a
health-conscious, environmentally friendly manner. Community organizations desiring to
hold a “take back” event can contact the AWARxE campaign administrator for the safe
disposal guide and planning materials. AWARxE volunteers are available to help with
these events. AWARxE personnel provided coordination for sites across Minnesota for
the DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Event on April 30, 2011. Nationwide,
this effort resulted in the collection of 376,593 pounds (181 tons) of prescription
medication for proper disposal.
AWARxE has created a comprehensive curriculum for prescription drug safety that is
available for nationwide use. South Dakota and Arizona have replicated Minnesota’s
AWARxE campaign with the help of this curriculum.
The Minnesota Pharmacists Foundation leads the Minnesota AWARxE effort with the full support and
commitment of local and national partner organizations, including the Minnesota Pharmacists
Association, Justin V. Pearson Memorial Fund, Genentech Pharmaceuticals and
National Association of Boards of Pharmacy.
Minnesota Pharmacists are urged to join us in changing and saving lives through education about prescription drug use and abuse by donating to the Minnesota Pharmacists Foundation(MPF). You may send checks to MPF at 1000 Westgate Drive, Suite 252, St. Paul, Mn. 55114. Your donation is tax deductible.
Marilyn Eelkema, President and Board of Trustees, Howard Juni, Debbie Anderson, Dave McLean, Todd Sorenson, Linnea Forsell, Justin Anderson, Leslie Helou, Chuck Cooper, and Steve Simenson Board of Trustees
Minnesota Pharmacists Foundation
The AWARxE consumer protection program is brought to you by the NABP Foundation®.