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Zombie Rx Awareness Project

Background

Zombie Awareness

Y2Y students presenting their press release to reporters in October 2012

To help raise awareness of the local prescription drug take back event being planned by the Dover Coalition for Youth, members of Y2Y dressed up as zombies and took over the streets of Dover to publicize the date, time and details of how to turn in old prescriptions from residents’ homes. The Dover Police Department and the Dover Coalition for Youth partnered with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to hold a drug take back as a part of the national take back initiative. This event gives the public an opportunity to rid their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.  The service is free and anonymous – no questions asked. The goal of the drug take back is to prevent the abusive or accidental use of medicine in the home by removing prescriptions that are no longer of legitimate value. Particularly in homes with children, this reduces access to prescription medications.

Project Description

Students Facilitating Change

Youth to Youth wanted to help spread the message about the dangers of unused and expired medications in the home, and let the public know about the take back event. The Zombie demonstration was designed as a fun, highly visual way to get the public’s attention while emphasizing the message:  if you think Zombies are scary – just look inside your medicine cabinet.

In a fun way, Y2Y members were educating the public on the level of abuse of medicines by kids, the danger of unneeded drugs being around the home, and the availability of the Dover Drug Take Back Day as a way of getting expired and unused medicine out of the home. Youth to Youth members were dressed as Zombies and had visuals, posters, chants, and other media in an effort to communicate their message to parents and other adults in the community.  They created and distributed Zombie Palm Cards to pedestrians during the demonstration and asked stores to put stacks of the palm cards on their counter tops.

Youth to Youth also created a 30-second radio promo for the take back that included the Zombie theme. Listen to the promo here:

Results

Y2Y Members

Y2Y Members

In one take back, Dover claimed the top spot among all NH locations, collecting 315 pounds of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. New Hampshire collected 5,681 pounds total with 82 participating towns and cities.

This was the sixth national take back initiative that Dover has participated in. The last five events have resulted in over 500 pounds of drugs being collected. “The turnout from previous events clearly demonstrates that people are looking for a safe way to dispose of their medications.” said Chief Anthony Colarusso of the Dover Police Department. The Zombie Project will be replicated for the October 2013 Rx Take Back in Dover – particularly appropriate just before Halloween.

For more information on the drug take Back, please visit the Dover Coalition For Youth web site.