WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 30, 2017) – Today, Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) joined The Rite Aid Foundation, Spokane Mayor David Condon, and Spokane Police Chief Craig Meidl for a press conference announcing the launch of Rite Aid’s KidCents Safe Medication Disposal Program. The opioid epidemic and the cycle of addiction impacts communities all across the country, including those in Eastern Washington. This program will work to cut down on drug accessibility, medication misuse, and accidental poisoning by providing law enforcement agencies in areas served by Rite Aid with medication disposal units for people to safely dispose of expired or unwanted over-the-counter or prescription medications.
“The cycle of addiction and drug abuse is heartbreaking. It’s something I continue to hear about as I meet with people all across Eastern Washington,” said McMorris Rodgers. “No one can fight this battle alone–nor should they have to. Solving this problem in our community will take the collaboration of local government, law enforcement, and outreach and advocacy groups. I applaud The Rite Aid Foundation for developing the KidCents Safe Medication Disposal Program and bringing it here to Spokane to help fight back against addiction and drug abuse in our community.”
In case you missed it, you can watch the full press conference streamed live on the Congresswoman’s Facebook here:
Rep. McMorris Rodgers’ remarks as delivered:
“Good morning, everyone. I’m pleased to be here with Rite Aid Foundation, as well all of the leaders representing Rite Aid, with our Mayor, and with our Police Chief also to help launch this program — this very important program — as we take steps to combat drug abuse and misuse.
“We read about it in the news regularly, and we hear the stories. And they’re heartbreaking as we hear these stories.
“And I hear it all across Eastern Washington, so I am especially appreciative that Rite Aid Foundation is making this commitment here in Spokane.
“Addiction doesn’t care about race, gender, political party, or age, and it’s in our communities, our homes. And it’s hurting our moms, our dads, our neighbors, our friends, and our students.
“It’s estimated that 6.5 million Americans are abusing prescription drugs.
“There’s a national state of emergency that’s been announced to help fight back against this trend in America.
“I’m proud to have supported legislation to help provide more funding for programs and people that are working to solve these problems.
“But we can’t stop there.
“That’s why these kind of approaches, collaborative ways to help provide resources, education, support, are so important.
“Last year, I met with an addiction survivor, Nick Yacoub, and he was suffering from addiction and recognized and shared with me that these are sick people trying to get better.
“And in our meeting he said, ‘People in recovery are warriors, of a sort. We cannot do it alone, we have to find other warriors.’
“And that’s why I am proud to be here today, because I’m joining with some other warriors — people like our mayor, Mayor Condon, our Police Chief Meidl, and the Rite Aid Foundation as we’re launching this KidCents Safe Medication Disposal Program to help as a partner in this fight.
“No one can battle alone — nor should they have to.
“So, solving this problem in our community is going to take these kind of collaborative approaches with local government, law enforcement, and outreach and advocacy groups.
“That’s what this program is going to do. It’s going to provide people here in Eastern Washington with the ability to safely dispose of prescription drugs, so they won’t fall in the wrong hands.
“I’m proud to support this program and I am pleased with the commitment that has been made by the Rite Aid Foundation to help keep people, and especially our kids, safe and healthy and happy.
“Thank you very much.”
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