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Pennsylvania State AG partners with Penguins, Rite Aid foundations to launch prescription drug safety program

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro
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Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro is working with foundations from Rite Aid and the Pittsburgh Penguins to develop an effort to address teenage prescription-drug abuse.

The Prescription Drug Safety program will be made available to Pittsburgh-area high schools at no cost, according to a news release.

Through interactive scenarios and self-guided activities, the digital prescription-drug abuse prevention program, developed by Everfi, uses an evidence-based, public health approach to teach high school students skills to make safe and healthy decisions about prescription drugs, according to the release.

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"Eighty percent of heroin users begin their substance use by abusing prescription drugs, so educating our children about the dangers of drug abuse is critically important," said Attorney General Josh Shapiro in a prepared statement. "I want to commend The Rite Aid Foundation, the Pittsburgh Penguins organization, and Everfi for bringing this prevention curriculum to children and young people in our schools. Fighting this epidemic is my top priority, and I'm proud to partner with you in this important effort."

The Rite Aid Foundation is making a three-year, $1.125 million commitment to the program, and plans to introduce it to schools in eastern Pennsylvania, Ohio, Washington and Oregon during that time, according to the release.

"Prescription drug abuse and misuse is a growing issue that poses a serious threat to the health, safety and well-being of our nation's young people," said Kermit Crawford, president and COO of Rite Aid (NYSE: RAD) and president of The Rite Aid Foundation, in a prepared statement. "The Rite Aid Foundation is proud to help introduce this important prevention education initiative to high school students so they can gain awareness and have the knowledge they need to stay safe and prevent abuse before it occurs."