News from the Front Lines
At Walmart, we see and feel the impact of the opioid crisis in the communities we serve. We are working hard to help protect communities and fight this epidemic.
October 1, 2019
Educating Louisiana Students about the Dangers of Opioid Abuse
On October 1, Walmart sponsored its fifth youth summit in New Orleans, in partnership with the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation and the DEA 360 Strategy to inform 4,000 middle and high school students about the dangers of opioids. The program seeks to educate students, teachers, and parents about the warning signs and effects of opioid misuse, and to connect them with helpful resources. Most of all, the program aims to recognize and promote healthy choices and demonstrate the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.
Designed to inspire and empower students to be a part of the solution to end the opioid epidemic, the event brought home the widespread impact of opioid abuse. At one point, students were asked to stand if they had been impacted personally—through a friend or family member—by the opioid epidemic. More than half the students stood up.
Governor John Bel Edwards, Attorney General Jeff Landry, Congressman Cedric Richmond, and Brad Byerley, D.E.A. Special Agent in Charge for the Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi region, all attended the event and spoke to students. Past summits have taken place in Rio Rancho, New Mexico; Salt Lake, Utah; Louisville, Kentucky; and Charleston, West Virginia.
The next youth summit is scheduled for Tuesday, November 26th in Baltimore, Maryland.
Reaching West Virginia Students About the Dangers of Opioids: A “Game Changer”
Walmart was proud to support the inspirational Game Changer Opioid Awareness Summit in September that brought together nearly 100,000 middle and high school students across West Virginia both virtually and in-person for an important cause: learning ways to fight the opioid epidemic.
The goal of the two-day Summit was to empower teens with the knowledge and tools to fight against substance abuse and make healthy choices. Among the speakers at the events were former NBA player Chris Herren, who is in recovery from opioid addiction, and author Rhonda Sciortino, who has an inspiring story of overcoming a childhood of abuse, abandonment, and poverty while growing up in a household affected by addiction.
The event was organized by the West Virginia Secondary Schools Activities Commission (WVSSAC) and MVB Bank, along with the two universities, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, and the West Virginia Governor's Office.
The summit kicked off the “Be a Game Changer” campaign, which encourages teens and all residents of West Virginia to find a way to make a difference in fighting the opioid epidemic, and to share information with those who may need help.
"The students who will take part in this event are our leaders of tomorrow," said Nemish Shah, Walmart's regional director of health and wellness and a trained pharmacist. "We appreciate their recognition of the power that comes from working meaningful impact they can have by collaborating with their peers and a their shared commitment to making a positive change in our great state."
May 13, 2019
Speaking Up about Opioid Awareness is This Mother’s Mission
Tristan Thomas had an adventurous spirit. He loved traveling with his family and on his own. He enjoyed mountain biking and exploring outdoors. He even moved from his home state of Arkansas to Seattle, which had been a longtime dream. But in 2017, at age 21, Tristan died of a drug overdose. Read More
April 16, 2019
Walmart provides critical prevention education in schools across the country
As a member of the Prescription Drug Safety Network, powered by education technology company Everfi, Walmart is helping bring a powerful prevention education tool to teens in high schools across the country. The interactive course, called Prescription Drug Safety, uses gamified technology to inform students on topics like safe use, storage, and disposal of medications, avoiding risks associated with prescription drug misuse and abuse, accessing help and treatment through community resources.
In April 2019, Walmart joined Indiana Attorney General Curtis and the Prescription Drug Safety Network for a first-of-its-kind Youth Prevention Summit at the Indiana State Capitol. The event centered around celebrating prescription drug prevention education, and empowering Indiana high-school students to use their knowledge and skills to effect positive change in their schools and communities. Read More