CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced Monday the launch of Kids Kick Opioids, a public service announcement contest that spurs the creativity of elementary and middle school students while raising awareness of prescription painkiller abuse, according to a news release from Morrisey’s office.
Kids Kick Opioids has drawn more than 9,500 entries since the 2016-17 school year. The fourth contest launched this month with entry forms and details mailed to schools across West Virginia.
“This has been a tremendous contest,” Morrisey said in the release. “Each year, I’ve been impressed by the creativity and talent of our students. Their entries, some especially poignant, have been a driving force in raising awareness as to the dangers and personal impact of opioid abuse. We must do all we can to stop the senseless death, and this has been a powerful tool for prevention.”
The contest provides an opportunity for students to learn the dangers of prescription painkiller abuse. It has also given many an outlet to express the personal impact of opioid abuse upon their lives and those of their loved ones.
Students can work individually or in groups. Potential submissions may include drawings, poems, letters or anything that would promote awareness.
The winning entry will appear as a statewide newspaper PSA. Regional winners will be displayed in the State Capitol.
Kids Kick Opioids generated 3,240 entries from 3,422 students last year. Since its inception, schools from 52 of the state’s 55 counties have participated.
Nearly 1,000 West Virginians lost their lives to a drug overdose in 2018, many of which were opioid related, according to the release.
Morrisey said reversing this trend has been a top priority him. He has fought the epidemic on multiple fronts, including a lawsuit against the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration that achieved sweeping reforms to the nation’s drug quota system.
Morrisey has also engaged in civil litigation, multistate initiatives, funding to target opioid abuse, criminal prosecutions, new technology, engagement with the faith-based community and education.
Contest entries must be postmarked by March 13 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.firstname.lastname@example.org.