Second ‘Kids Kick Opioids’ contest launches

CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced the rollout of his second “Kids Kick Opioids” public service announcement contest.

The contest engages elementary and middle school students in designing a PSA that raises awareness about prescription painkiller abuse. Potential submissions may be a poem, drawing, letter or anything that would promote awareness.

“Our last contest was a reminder that some of the youngest victims of the opioid epidemic can be found in classrooms across West Virginia,” Morrisey said in a news release. “By addressing the negative consequences of drug use now, we hope to deter the continued growth of this crisis and provide a better future for these children.”

Students can work individually or in groups. The top submission will appear as the attorney general’s next statewide newspaper PSA. Regional winners will be displayed in the Capitol.

Nearly 900 West Virginians lost their lives to a drug overdose in 2016, many of which were opioid-related.

Reversing this trend has been a top priority for Morrisey, according to the news release. He has fought the epidemic on multiple fronts with criminal prosecutions, increased funding, civil litigation, multi-state initiatives, new technology, engagement with the faith-based community and education.

His most recent educational initiative allowed nursing and pharmacy students from three colleges to share opioid abuse prevention information with more than 4,600 eighth-grade students during the fall 2017 semester.

Contest entries must be submitted by March 29 by mail to the Attorney General’s Office at 1900 Kanawha Blvd. E. State Capitol Building 1, Room 26-E, Charleston, WV 25305, or sent by email to AGPSA.contest@wvago.gov.

The winners of the contest tentatively will be announced April 12.

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