April 4, 2018
BATON ROUGE, LA -- East Baton Rouge Parish School System is joining the Prescription Drug Safety Network, a nationwide coalition committed to empowering Americans with the skills to make safe and healthy decisions about prescription drug use for themselves, their families, and their communities.
In a program made possible with grant funding from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, high school students will learn more about prescription drug safety and how they can prevent misuse, abuse or theft by taking drugs as directed and safely getting rid of them when the prescription is no longer needed.
The program, which includes hands-on instruction, online modules and supplemental materials, will be included as part of the students’ school day. It is funded entirely through grant support at no cost to the schools.
“The national opioid epidemic is an acute public health issue in Louisiana, and we are doing our part to help all state residents lower their risks,” said Michael Tipton, head of Community Relations for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana and president of the Blue Cross Foundation. “With this program, we have an opportunity to raise awareness with students that prescription drugs, when not used properly, are as dangerous as street drugs. And, we’re hoping there will be a positive ripple effect, as these students share what they learn with their families and can help others stay safe.”
The Prescription Drug Safety Network is the nation’s first public-private initiative to combat prescription drug abuse by providing prevention education to schools. Network partners include state leaders, healthcare companies, pharmaceutical manufacturers, pharmacies and foundations.
The flagship initiative of the Prescription Drug Safety Network is the launch of a new prescription drug abuse prevention course developed by EVERFI, the nation’s leading technology innovator used in one out of seven schools nationwide. The new course will be used in the East Baton Rouge schools that are participating.
"Our school district values this partnership with EVERFI and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, which allows us to effectively address the challenges of prescription drug misuse and abuse among our teens through online programming,” said Warren Drake, East Baton Rouge Parish School System superintendent.
“Prescription drug abuse has dealt a devastating blow to communities across the country, yet there are few initiatives aimed at positively preventing the abuse before it occurs,” said EVERFI CEO Tom Davidson. “Through the Prescription Drug Safety Network, we are bringing together state officials, policy leaders, industry leaders, educators, and community organizations committed to combating abuse by investing in prevention education. Everyone needs to be at the table to help solve this crisis.”
The digital learning experience uses an evidence-based, public health approach to empower high school students with the skills and knowledge they need to make safe and healthy decisions about prescription drugs. Through interactive scenarios and self-guided activities, students learn the facts about drugs, how to properly use and dispose of them, and how to step in when faced with a situation involving misuse. The course is aligned with the Centers for Disease Control’s National Health Education Standards and state academic standards.
Putting this course in East Baton Rouge Parish schools is one of several initiatives Blue Cross has undertaken to raise awareness of prescription drug safety. Blue Cross has partnered with the Louisiana Attorney General and local law enforcement to install secure drug drop boxes in locations around the state. Residents can use these boxes to safely and anonymously get rid of unused, expired or leftover prescription drugs. This gets the drugs out of homes and lowers the risk they could be stolen or abused. A list of box locations is online at www.bcbsla.com/safedrugdrop.
Starting in January 2018, Blue Cross revised how it covers opioid drugs that are prescribed for pain. Under the revised policy, members may have a limit on how many days’ supply of an opioid drug they can fill. Or, doctors may need to ask for prior authorization before members fill a prescription for an opioid drug. Blue Cross will make exceptions for members who are already on long‐term pain medications if they meet certain criteria, and for those taking opioid drugs because they have cancer or are receiving end‐of‐life care. Blue Cross and HMO Louisiana Inc. members can learn more about their drug coverage online at www.bcbsla.com/covereddrugs or by calling the number on their member ID cards.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana
Founded in New Orleans in 1934, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is a private, fully taxed mutual company, owned by policyholders—not shareholders. It is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and is governed by a Louisiana Board of Directors.
The company and its subsidiaries provide group and individual health insurance plans, life and disability insurance, group voluntary products and administrative services to Louisiana residents. With headquarters in Baton Rouge and eight district offices around the state, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is committed to improving the lives of its customers by providing them with health guidance and affordable access to quality care.
About EVERFI, Inc.
EVERFI, Inc. is the leading education technology company that provides learners of all ages education for the real world, through innovative and scalable digital learning. Founded in 2008, EVERFI has certified over 16 million learners in critical skill areas with more than 4,300 partners in all 50 U.S. States and Canada. EVERFI is an industry conveyor that builds Networks to tackle the toughest social issues, including the Campus Prevention Network, a coalition of higher education institutions committed to campus sexual assault and alcohol abuse prevention; and the Financial Capability Network, a coalition of industry leaders dedicated to improving financial outcomes for communities across the country. Some of America’s leading CEOs and venture capital firms are EVERFI investors including Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, Twitter founder Evan Williams, TPG Growth, and The Rise Fund.
For more information, contact:
Dianne Eysink, (225) 295-2022
Monique Waters (202) 625-0011ext. 373