Presentation Educates Student-Athletes on Rx Drugs

by Kathryn Sill, Public Relations Writer

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Sport Science Institute provides research and awareness on the importance of health and safety for the student-athlete. 

In support of this NCAA core belief, Zach Jenkins, Pharm.D., assistant professor of pharmacy practice at Cedarville University, teamed up with Laura Farleman, a second-year professional pharmacy student from Baldwinsville, New York, to present on “Prescription Drugs and the Student-Athlete Experience” to the collegiate student-athlete advisory committee (SAAC) representatives from each of the member institutions within the Great Midwest Athletic Conference (G-MAC).

The goal of this presentation was to provide a greater foundation for student-athletes within the G-MAC on the impacts of the most commonly abused prescription drugs within collegiate athletics.

In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Jenkins works as a clinical pharmacy specialist in infectious disease at Atrium Medical Center in Middletown, Ohio. As a member of the system-wide Premier Health Partners antimicrobial stewardship team, Jenkins is responsible for developing stewardship efforts at Atrium Medical Center.

Outside of the classroom, Farleman is a standout track and field student-athlete for the Yellow Jackets. She also serves as the G-MAC national SAAC representative and the Division II Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports (CSMAS) student-athlete representative.

“I am hoping to pursue a career in pediatric neuroatypical conditions and sports medicine, so I was naturally drawn to the idea of presenting on a topic that intimately affects health and safety within the collegiate athletic environment,” Farleman said. “The increasing rates of prescription drug abuse we see nationwide, and my own pharmacy-student-athlete perspective prompted me to develop resources addressing this issue within athletics.” 

This presentation provided a stepping-stone for the development of a Student-Athlete Generation Rx initiative, which seeks to prevent prescription drug abuse. Together with the help of the NCAA, Cedarville University School of Pharmacy and The Ohio State University School of Pharmacy, Farleman is working to launch a pilot Student-Athlete Generation Rx toolkit. Long term, this toolkit would provide institutional SAAC’s, athletic administrators and student-athletes resources and materials to start addressing prescription drug abuse within collegiate athletics. 

“It is crucial for student-athletes to know the dangers involved with substance abuse because, ultimately, as student-athletes, we are responsible for making educated decisions about what we put into our bodies,” Farleman said. “The Cedarville University School of Pharmacy is preparing me to engage in these prevalent topics within our society.” 

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 3,711 undergraduate, graduate and online students in more than 100 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and leading student satisfaction ratings. For more information about the University, visit www.cedarville.edu.