CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The West Virginia Attorney General's office is once again sponsoring a contest among schoolchildren to promote awareness of prescription painkiller abuse.
Submissions to the 2019 Kids Kick Opioids contest, displayed by West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey's office
The "Kids Kick Opioids" contest is in its fourth year and is open to elementary and middle school students. Submissions can include poems, drawings, letters or anything that promotes awareness of painkiller abuse.
Students can work individually or in groups.
The winning entry will be used in Attorney General Patrick Morrisey's next statewide newspaper public service advertisement. Regional winners will be displayed in the state Capitol.
“This has been a tremendous contest,” Morrisey said. “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.”
Last year, a Moorefield student was the statewide runner-up and regional winner for her area.
Her artwork was chosen from 3,240 submissions meant to creatively illustrate the devastation caused by prescription painkiller abuse.
Many of the entries in 2019 shared a heartbreaking theme of children's personal experience with addiction in their family lives.
“This year’s entries really showcase the tremendous talent of our elementary and middle school participants," Morrisey said. "They also underscore the seriousness of the drug epidemic and leave no doubt that our students understand the impact of opioid abuse. Let’s hope their artwork will bring about a new awareness and a renewed commitment to change."
The deadline for entries is March 13. They can be mailed 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.email@example.com.
West Virginia has the nation's highest death rate involving drug overdoses. Nearly 1,000 West Virginians lost their lives to a drug overdose in 2018, many of which were opioid related.