CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey hopes a fourth grader’s winning design will help accomplish its plea to "Stop Opioid Abuse."
Taylor Wright of Lashmeet/Matoaka Elementary School in Mercer County recently won the Attorney General’s Kids Kick Opioids contest. Now her illustration of how prescription painkiller abuse impacts one’s family and loved ones is appearing in newspapers across the state.
Wright’s winning design features a family trapped inside a prescription pill bottle that reads "Don’t Bottle Up Your Family Over Your Addiction." As one family member places an opioid pill in his mouth, his family members say, "You’re killing us too!", "We want out!" and "Please stop!"
"Taylor’s design will help hopefully move those who see it to understand the tragic seriousness of our opioid epidemic," Attorney General Morrisey said. "We must do everything possible to attack the root causes of opioid abuse. Kids Kick Opioids and other prevention initiatives are key components in helping us stop senseless death."
Judges chose Wright’s design from 3,366 entries submitted by 3,521 students at 91 middle and elementary schools across West Virginia – the highest participation since Kids Kick Opioids began. The submissions included a mix of drawings, poems and other designs aimed at promoting awareness.
Kids Kick Opioids has generated more than 12,800 entries since its inception.
Judges also recognized two eighth-graders as statewide runners-up, Dakota Niebergau, a student at Rivesville Elementary/Middle School in Marion County, and Mia Pietranon, who attends St. Paul Catholic School in Weirton. Their designs appear with Taylor’s on the Attorney General’s website at www.wvago.gov.
Kids Kick Opioids represents one of many initiatives through which the Attorney General has sought to combat West Virginia’s drug overdose death rate, including a lawsuit against the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration that achieved sweeping reforms to the nation’s drug quota system.
The Attorney General also has combated the opioid crisis with civil litigation, multistate initiatives, funding to target opioid abuse, criminal prosecutions, new technology, engagement with the faith-based community and education.
The West Virginia State Medical Association, West Virginia Association of School Nurses and the Capitol Police assisted the Attorney General in judging the public service announcement contest.