CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced a Marion County student as the statewide winner of this year’s Kids Kick Opioids contest, a public service announcement partnership with elementary and middle schools that encourages students to raise awareness of prescription painkiller abuse.
Judges selected Kiley Ford from Rivesville Elementary & Middle School in Marion County as the statewide winner. They chose Ford’s artwork from entries submitted by students across West Virginia.
Ford’s winning design features a drawing of an animal-like being with bloodshot eyes, its mouth open and tongue sticking out. A pill is visible inside the mouth, and the words “The truth about opioids isn’t hard to swallow” are written on the being’s tongue.
“Kiley’s artwork goes to the heart of the message: the truth about opioids isn’t hard to swallow. The design also depicts the harsh reality that opioid addiction rips families apart and causes devastating sadness and horror in an addict’s family,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “My congratulations to Kiley, our runners-up and all of our regional winners for their hard work in promoting awareness of opioid abuse. We must do everything possible to attack the root causes of addiction and teach our youth the serious consequences of drug abuse.”
Ford’s design will soon appear in newspapers across West Virginia as the Attorney General’s next public service announcement.
Judges also recognized Evee Matheny from Lenore PK-8 School in Mingo County and Hailey Rogers also from Rivesville Elementary & Middle School as the statewide runners-up. Their designs will appear with Ford’s on the Attorney General’s website.
The Attorney General received a total of 2,347 entries from 2,450 students at 66 middle and elementary schools across West Virginia. The submissions included a mix of drawings, poems and other designs aimed at promoting awareness.
Judges recognized winning entries from 65 students overall. Those designs will be displayed in the State Capitol in the fall.
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 fought 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 Board of Pharmacy, West Virginia Association of School Nurses and the Capitol Police assisted the Attorney General in judging the public service announcement contest.