Monday, 10 07, 2013
Deputy Communications Director
Attorney General Jack Conway and his Keep Kentucky Kids Safe partners today announced the start of their annual prescription drug abuse prevention public service announcement (PSA) contest for Kentucky middle and high school students. The competition is part of General Conway's statewide public awareness initiative to warn Kentucky kids about the devastating consequences of prescription drug abuse.
"I have heard the heartbreaking stories from students across Kentucky who have lost loved ones to this scourge, and I have grieved with far too many parents who lost children to overdoses," General Conway said. "I want our young people to know that it is never okay to take a prescription pill that was not prescribed to them by their doctor. These are some of the most addictive substances on the planet, and if taken in the wrong combination, or with other substances, they can kill you."
Attorney General Conway's video PSA competition is held in partnership with the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy, the Kentucky Pharmacists Association, National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators (NADDI), Operation UNITE and concerned parents, Dr. Karen Shay and Mike Donta.
"NADDI is pleased to be a partner in this important annual competition," said Paula York, President of NADDI of Kentucky. "The Keep Kentucky Kids Safe PSA Contest is a wonderful opportunity to not only raise awareness, but to let students have their voices heard on an issue that affects families in every community across this state and nation."
As part of the competition, Kentucky middle and high school students produce a 30-second video that shows the perils of prescription drug abuse. The first place winner will receive an Apple iPad generously donated by NADDI. The runner-up will receive a $100 Amazon.com gift card donated by the Kentucky Pharmacists Association.
"Pharmacists are on the front lines for working to prevent prescription drug abuse throughout the Commonwealth," said Robert McFalls, KPhA Executive Director/CEO. "This contest is a great way to educate the next generation to think about ways to curb this epidemic."
The deadline for submitting a video is Dec. 6, 2013. Winners will be announced on Dec. 13, 2013.
Students may find out how to submit a PSA for consideration by visiting the Attorney General's Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Page at http://ag.ky.gov/rxabuse .
Last year's winning video was produced by the Clark County Youth ASAP Network and is available for viewing on General Conway's YouTube page at http://youtu.be/QbZL75z3iOo .
Winning videos are posted on the Attorney General's website and distributed to television stations across the Commonwealth by the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy.
PRESCRIPTION DRUG DIVERSION EFFORTS
General Conway launched Kentucky's first and only statewide Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Task Force in August of 2009. The task force has been involved in more than 430 prescription drug diversion investigations, including Operation Flamingo Road, the state's largest prescription drug bust that resulted in the arrest of more than 500 people.
In 2010, General Conway launched the Keep Kentucky Kids Safe initiative with the Kentucky Justice Cabinet and its Office of Drug Control Policy, Kentucky Pharmacists Association, National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators (NADDI), Operation UNITE and concerned parents. Since its launch, Attorney General Conway and his partners have alerted more than 25,000 students, teachers and parents about the dangers of prescription drug abuse.
General Conway also worked closely with Governor Beshear, House Speaker Stumbo, Senate President Stivers and other lawmakers to win passage of landmark legislation in 2012 to prevent the abuse and diversion of prescription pills in the Commonwealth. Since passage of HB 1, overdose deaths in Kentucky declined for the first time in a decade, and half of the state's pain management clinics have closed their doors.
A report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) also shows a decline in the non-medical use of prescription pain relievers among all age groups in the Commonwealth. Kentucky is also below the national average for prescription drug abuse, for the first time.
In addition to the work being done here in the Commonwealth, Attorney General Conway reached across party lines to work with Attorney General Pam Bondi in Florida to ensure that her state implemented an electronic prescription drug monitoring system similar to Kentucky's KASPER system. Together they have worked to shut down the pill pipeline between Florida and Kentucky and to see that all 50 states have prescription drug monitoring programs in place and that all of the programs can share data across state lines.