Student contest promotes opioid abuse awareness

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The West Virginia attorney general’s office is sponsoring its annual contest among schoolchildren to promote awareness of prescription painkiller abuse.

The “Kids Kick Opioids” contest is in its fourth year and is open to elementary and middle school students, Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said in a news release. Entries 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 by Morrisey in a newspaper public service advertisement. Regional winners will be displayed at the state Capitol.

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.contest@wvago.gov.

The contest generated entries from 3,422 students last year.

West Virginia has the nation’s highest death rate involving drug overdoses.

Kassie Simmons
Kassie Simmons joined the team in January 2019 as a weekend journalist. She graduated from Virginia Tech in just two and a half years with a BA in multimedia journalism. During her short time at Virginia Tech, she served as the editor for the university’s chapter of The Tab. Kassie was named the top reporter for The Tab at Virginia Tech on multiple occasions and made the list for the top 30 reporters for The Tab in the U.S. She also studied theater performance and minored in creative writing. Before coming to WOAY, Kassie interned at WSLS in Roanoke and the Tidewater Review in her hometown of West Point, Va. She has loved following breaking news since her childhood and has a passion for delivering the stories people care most about. Kassie is excited to be working in Southern West Virginia and looks forward to all the adventures ahead of her. You can follow her on Twitter at @KassieLSimmons and like her page on Facebook. If you have a story you think she should check out, send her an email at ksimmons@woay.com.