Walgreens announced the launch of its #ItEndWithUs campaign to educate teens about the opioid epidemic.
The campaign will be launched by actor Brandon Larracuente, who was in shows such as “13 Reasons Why” and “Bloodline.” He will speak to an audience today at the WE Day UN event at Madison Square Garden in New York. WE is a charity organization that raises money for children’s issues and donates them to a variety of charities.
Larracuente was chosen to speak because he has seen firsthand the effects of the opioid crisis. “I have personally been affected by the opioid epidemic,” he said. “My friend was only 19 when she died and it only took one wrong, risk-taking decision to cost her her life. “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 campaign will provide teens with “resources and positive steps they can take in their community.” Those resources can be found at the #ItEndsWithUs Hub, which features posters and information on the effects of the opioid epidemic. The page features testimonials from Larracuente and Francesca Paparone, a young woman who overcame her opioid addiction. Also featured are guides to medication disposal, with links to Walgreens stores offering Safe Medication Disposal Kiosks.
The kiosks are available year-round at no cost, and provide a place to dispose of any unwanted medication. The kiosks are available at over 600 Walgreens locations, and the program collected over 72 tons of medication in its first year. The program was launced in February 2016. The majority of those who abuse opioids obtain the drugs from a friend or relative, and the majority of younger people who are hospitalized for opioid exposure were exposed unintentionally.