The Marshall University School of Pharmacy has joined 93 other schools of pharmacy across the United States by pledging to educate student pharmacists on ways to combat the nation’s prescription drug epidemic.

The American Association of College of Pharmacy (AACP) and its member institutions, including Marshall, while acknowledging that schools currently educate their student pharmacists about public health issues like opioid abuse, have restated their commitment to fighting the country’s escalating problem.

“Marshall’s School of Pharmacy has been a principal partner in combating the drug problem here in our local community through the Harm Reduction Program at the Cabell-Huntington Health Department,” said Kevin W. Yingling, R.Ph., M.D., dean of the school of pharmacy. “We are dedicated to finding solutions through our community efforts as well as continuing our commitment to outstanding pharmacy education that covers all public health issues.”

In addition to its participation in the county’s Harm Reduction Program, Marshall School of Pharmacy students have participated in a nationwide program, Generation Rx, that seeks to educate teens on the dangers of drug abuse.  This year, student pharmacists visited Spring Valley High School on two separate occasions speaking with high school students on the dangers of drug abuse.

Marshall University is also a recipient of a nearly $1 million grant from the federal government  to provide substance abuse prevention and early intervention training to students in a number of health care-related programs, including the school of pharmacy.

The AACP pledge stresses that school of pharmacy faculty will play an important role in training students about lifesaving overdose interventions like naloxone, as well as teaching student pharmacists how to counsel patients and their families about the medications.

Both West Virginia University School of Pharmacy and the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy joined Marshall in supporting the national initiative.

Marshall University opened its school of pharmacy in 2012 and graduated its first class in May 2016.