Candlelight Vigil Aims to Raise Awareness and Remember Those Lost to Prescription Drug Abuse

Daniel Helfand
10/21/2013

The Generation Rx Initiative, the Narcotics Overdose Prevention Education task force (NOPE), The Ohio State University Student Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists and The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy are partnering to help raise awareness and remember those who have fell victim to prescription drug abuse and addiction through the second annual NOPE Candlelight Vigil.
 
The vigil will take place on Oct. 24 at the Browning Amphitheater at 6:30 p.m. Anyone is welcome to attend the event.  Presentations from speakers will begin at 7 p.m. Following the presentations, the candle lighting will begin at 8 p.m.
 
Speakers at the event will include representatives of Ohio State’s Collegiate Recovery Community and Melissa O’Harra Brown, the founder of the nonprofit Hope Blooms who started the organization after losing her own daughter to an accidental prescription drug overdose. 
 
“We hope that the speakers’ stories will prove that prescription drug abuse is very dangerous and that those who are in need and actively recovering from addiction have amazing resources available right on our campus,” said Bethany Hipp, a doctor of pharmacy student at Ohio State and the organizer of the candlelight vigil.
 
The goal of this event is to remember those lost to prescription drug abuse, raise awareness about addiction and eliminate prejudice surrounding the disease. The presentation ceremonies and the vigil will serve as a way to connect those personally affected by prescription drug abuse and those who want to learn more about how to help stem abuse and addiction in their own communities.
 
The event will also serve to inform people about campus programs such as The Generation Rx Initiative, which provides free resources to help educate the public about prescription drug abuse and misuse.
 
“Like so many others, I have personally been affected by addiction,” said Hipp. “I am very passionate about spreading the message of the Generation Rx Initiative with the Ohio State community, and I believe that the NOPE Candlelight Vigil is a great opportunity to reach out to students, faculty, staff and the surrounding community.”
 
The NOPE vigil is a national event with people across the nation coming together on the same day and time to bring awareness to prescription drug abuse and its prevention. For a full list of locations, visit http://www.nopetaskforce.org/vigil-locations.php.
 
For more information about the Columbus event, contact Julianne Mazzola at mazzola.20@osu.edu.
 
For more information on the Generation Rx Initiative, visit go.osu.edu/generationrx.