North Carolina Department of Justice
North Carolina Department of Justice
North Carolina Department of Justice
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AG announces student contest to fight prescription drug abuse

Release date: 3/19/2013

Prescription drugs are 2nd most abused drug among teens

Charlotte: North Carolina high school students can help fight prescription drug abuse and overdose deaths by entering a video contest sponsored by Attorney General Roy Cooper and the NC Department of Justice.
To educate young people about the dangers of prescription drug abuse, Cooper is partnering with the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators, the North Carolina Parent Resource Center, and the Governor’s Institute on Substance Abuse to sponsor a student video competition.
Cooper is asking students to create public service announcement videos on the topic of teen prescription drug abuse. All students enrolled in grades nine through 12 in North Carolina are eligible to enter.  
“Prescription drug abuse is a silent killer that’s on the rise, especially among young people,” Cooper said, speaking to students at North Mecklenburg High School near Charlotte.  “We’re asking students to help us fight this epidemic.”  
On Wednesday, Cooper will visit City of Medicine Academy in Durham, the school that produced last year’s first-place winning video, to encourage more students to participate in the contest.
More than 130 students entered the contest last year. Last year’s winning videos are available online at and YouTube.
Data from North Carolina and other states demonstrate that prescription drugs kill more people than illegal drugs (See HHS 2007 Study – The Burden of Unintentional Poisoning in NC). Approximately 1,000 people died in North Carolina last year from overdosing on prescription drugs, according to preliminary data from the NC Division of Public Health. Nationwide, fatal drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death due to unintentional injury, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
The intentional abuse of prescription pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants and sedatives to get high is a growing concern, particularly among teens. Among people ages 12-17, prescription drugs are now the second most abused drug, behind marijuana. Though overall teen drug use is down nationwide, there are troubling signs that teens view abusing prescription drugs as safer than illegal drugs.
“Young people need to know that prescription drugs can be every bit as dangerous as street drugs when you misuse them,” Cooper said. “By participating in the Stop Rx Abuse contest, students can educate each other about the dangers of prescription drug abuse and hopefully prevent tragic overdose deaths.”
The student video competition runs through April 26. More details including the contest application are available at Information on the contest has also been sent to high school principals statewide.
The student whose video is judged to be the best will win an Apple iPad, and the runners-up will receive an iPod Touch and an iTunes gift card. The winning video will also be featured on the website for the NC Department of Justice.
To participate in the contest:
1.      Produce an original video and upload it to YouTube.
2.      Send an email to that includes a link to the video, your name, grade level, and school name.
3.      Complete the application and release form (available at and mail it along with a transcript of the video to:
                        Prescription Drug Abuse PSA Competition
                        NC Department of Justice
                        9001 Mail Service Center
                        Raleigh, NC 27699-9001

  Contact:  Noelle Talley, (919) 716-6413