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Indiana Prevention Resource Center (IPRC)

Indiana youth, video contest warn of prescription drug abuse dangers

News Release

Last modified: Thursday, May 31, 2012

 Young Indiana Filmmakers Take Action against Prescription Drug Abuse

May 30, 2012

Bloomington, IN- Over 130 Indiana youth from six counties (Morgan, Hamilton, Vanderburgh, Clark, Bartholomew and Fountain) submitted a video Public Service Announcements (PSA) for the Indiana Prevention Resource Center’s Fourth Annual www.KeepRXSafe.com Video PSA Contest. The winning entries are currently featured on the website for public use. “It’s gratifying to know that students around the Hoosier State realize the importance of stopping the use of non-prescribed prescription drugs, and I’m amazed how skilled these young people have been at getting the message to their peers through this wonderful Public Service Announcement competition. The Indiana Prevention Resource Center is to be commended for getting these high school age students to not only think about this important issue, but also for encouraging them to get the word out to a targeted audience in such an effective way,” shared Mike Morris, Food Network Producer and contest judge.

This year, Will Hanna and his classmate Mason Moody, both seniors at J Jeffersonville High School in Jeffersonville, submitted the winning entry entitled, “The Final Trip.” “I have truly enjoyed making videos for the www.KeepRXsafe.com PSA competition. It is quite an honor to win this year. This is a great organization with a great message that helps to keep kids from misusing prescription drugs. I am so glad I have been a part of the effort to get the message out,” said Will Hanna.

“This contest is just the tip of the iceberg in prevention efforts against prescription drug abuse. The IPRC will continue to support prevention efforts to make a difference in improving the lives of Indiana citizens,” said DeSalle. Prevention efforts in Indiana include: education, prescription drug drop off events and increased efforts to research and gather data about prescription drug abuse. Executive Director of the IPRC, Dr. Ruth Gassman reports “In August, we will be releasing new data collected in 2011 about where students are obtaining prescription drugs to get high.” When released, this information will be accessible both at the IPRC website: www.drugs.indiana.edu and at www.KeepRXSafe.com.

The PSAs created by the annual contest are one example of many free resources available on this prescription drug information website. Created in 2008 by Indiana University’s Indiana Prevention Resource Center (IPRC), the website is a free resource to all Indiana residents and serves to provide information about proper prescription drug use with links for parents, youth, and older adults. The website has tools to help identify prescription drug concerns as well as the most recent data about how prescription drug use is affecting Indiana and the United States.

Prescription drug abuse is the fastest growing drug problem in the United States according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This public health issue isn’t just an issue for adults or the elderly. According to the 2011 Annual Youth Survey conducted by the Indiana Prevention Resource Center, 16% of Indiana 12th graders have used non-prescribed painkillers and nearly 15% of 12th graders have also used other prescription medications without a medical need. “Prescription drugs continue to be an issue in our state. The PSA contest gets students involved in prevention efforts. We know that young people are influenced by their peers; the contest let’s students take charge and make an impact. The students did an excellent job expressing themselves and providing a strong message,” stated Mallori DeSalle, the www.KeepRXSafe.com contest coordinator.

2012 PSA Winners:

• Will Hanna and Mason Moody-“The Final Trip”, Jeffersonville, High School-60 second PSA depicting the loss a family experiences when a young person over doses on prescription medication.

• Mac Burns, “Don’t Slow Down Your Future,” Jeffersonville, High School-30 second PSA showing the effects of abuse on everyday life.

• Josh Phelps, “Start A New Day,” Jeffersonville, High School-30 second PSA that suggests making changes from abuse to recovery.

• Brittany Abney, Jackson Nolting & Tyler Vanblaricum “ You Can’t Take It Back”, Columbus East High School-60 second PSA captures how one high school student would change his life by avoiding abuse of prescription drugs.

• Christian Hicks, Jerrod Hess-Stevens & Curtis Lindenmayer “Michael’s Story”, Sheridan High School-60 second PSA sharing a story about an unsuspecting student that struggled with prescription drug abuse.

Several of the submissions for this years’ PSA contest were created as class projects allowing for more exposure to prescription medication misuse knowledge and prevention efforts among youth. Jerrod Hess-Stevens, student participant from Sheridan High School in Hamilton County, Indiana, said “I learned a lot by doing this project. I didn’t know about prescription drug abuse before this. I learned about the topic and about planning, shooting and editing videos.”

The IPRC’s PSA contest has inspired local level prevention efforts against prescription abuse across the state of Indiana. Tom Gross, Vocational TV Teacher at Jeffersonville High School, shared that “We heard about the contest from our Local Coordinating Council (LCC)”. The LCC is a group of people in each Indiana county that work towards addressing alcohol and other drug problems. “This led to our high school to contacting a member of the recovery community to visit our school. After that, we were able to understand the issue better and provide insight for the students to prepare messages (for the contest).”

The PSA contest has grown beyond the borders of Indiana as well; The PSA contest inspired a similar contest in California by the National Coalition Against Prescription Drug Abuse, and the Indiana contest is highlighted on the national coalition’s website. Last year’s winning PSAs were used by a drug free community grantee in Carmel, New York when the PSAs were featured on local television stations in Putnam County, New York.

“Whether medication is prescribed by a doctor, or purchased on the street, everyone needs to be aware of the health consequences of misuse. The PSAs that caught my eye highlighted that point and showed a unique perspective that will hopefully influence their peers,” said Daniel DeSalle, physician and contest judge.

About KeepRxSafe.com and the IPRC

KeepRxSafe.com was created by the Indiana Prevention Resource Center and funded by Family & Social Services Association/Division of Mental Health and Addiction. The IPRC is operated by the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation and its Department of Applied Health Science. The center is funded, in part, by the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, Division of Mental Health and Addiction, and financially supported through the HHS/Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant.

About the School of HPER

IU's School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation encompasses a broad spectrum of academic interests and professional fields. The School of HPER offers nearly 50 undergraduate and advanced degree programs through its departments of Applied Health Science, Kinesiology, Environmental Health, and Recreation, Park and Tourism Studies. To further its health and wellness initiative, Campus Recreational Sports provides sport and fitness services for the IU community and the public.

For questions related to the website or to the PSA contest, please contact Mallori DeSalle at 812-855-5735 or mdesalle@indiana.edu.