By Lori Maricle, College of Pharmacy

Shannon-Panther-80SPOKANE, Wash. – Washington State University has received a state award for excellence in community-based prescription drug abuse prevention.

The College of Pharmacy worked with the WSU Police Department to stage an overdose reenactment on the Pullman campus in September to raise awareness of the growing epidemic of opiate drug abuse and overdose. (Photo by Jaqueline Garza, WSU College of Pharmacy)

The College of Pharmacy received the Cardinal Health Generation Rx Champions Award from the Washington State Pharmacy Association for a prevention and awareness program to battle prescription and opiate drug abuse that can be duplicated across the country. Shannon Panther, WSU clinical assistant professor of pharmacotherapy, was the lead developer.

Modeled after similar overdose programs nationwide (http://www.stopoverdose
), the WSU program educates people in non-healthcare positions within the community, teaches them to save the life of someone experiencing an overdose and provides them with a lifesaving tool kit.

The project next will survey participants to measure change in their knowledge and perceptions to determine the program’s long-term effectiveness. Once Panther and her team demonstrate success for this large-group education and delivery model, the program will be used as a template for intervention programs in community groups at high risk for exposure to a drug overdose event.


Lori Maricle, WSU College of Pharmacy communications, 509-368-6679,