Attorney General Speaks to Local Kids About Drug Abuse

HOPKINS COUNTY, KY – Attorney General Jack Conway and his Keep Kentucky Kids Safe partners spoke to nearly 1,400 students in Christian and Hopkins counties today about the devastating consequences of prescription drug abuse.

Nearly 400 students attended the prevention and awareness program at Christian County High School with Attorney General Conway, Rep. John Tilley, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, and Mike Donta, a concerned parent who lost a son to prescription drug addiction.

“I want kids across Kentucky to know that it is never okay to take prescription pills that are not prescribed to them,” said General Conway. “Kids who take prescription pills for fun suffer in school, damage relationships with friends and family and can end up in jail. Most importantly, they are putting their lives at risk.”

Non-medical use or abuse of prescription drugs is the fastest growing drug problem in the United States, according to Office of National Drug Control Policy. In Kentucky, prescription drug overdose deaths have more than doubled from 403 in 2000 to nearly 980 in 2009. Today, there are more overdose deaths in the Commonwealth than traffic fatalities.

“As a former prosecutor and now as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, I have gained a deeper understanding of just how damaging drug abuse is to the Commonwealth and how crucial it is to educate our younger citizens early and often,” said Rep. John Tilley. “Attorney General Conway and I are both strongly committed to reducing drug abuse of any kind, and programs like this play a major role in that regard. I want to thank him for coming to our community and giving me a chance to take part.”

Attorney General Conway also warned more than 1,000 students at Madisonville North Hopkins High School about the dangers of abusing prescription pills. Attending the event with General Conway were representatives from the Pennyrile Narcotics Task Force and the Kentucky Pharmacists Association.

Today’s programs are part of statewide initiative General Conway launched last fall with the Kentucky Justice Cabinet and its Office of Drug Control Policy, Kentucky Pharmacists Association, National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators (NADDI), Operation UNITE and mothers who lost their daughters to prescription drug overdoses, Lynn Kissick and Dr. Karen Shay.

General Conway next visits Prestonsburg High School from 1-2 p.m. on April 26. Prevention programs are also planned in Davies and Warren Counties next month.

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