Last Updated on December 10, 2019 by Valarie Ward
For the 4th year in a row, Attorney General Roy Cooper has hosted a video contest for teens encouraging them to take active roles in fighting against the abuse of prescription drugs among their peers. The video contest is called Stop Rx Abuse, and is sponsored by the NC Department of Justice in partnership with the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators, the North Carolina Parent Resource Center, and the Governor’s Institute on Substance Abuse.
About The Stop Rx Abuse Contest
In a recent press release, Attorney General Cooper encourages youth to get involved, “We’re asking North Carolina students to use their time and talents to help us fight this epidemic by spreading the word about the dangers of prescription drug abuse.”
The contest, which runs March 2-April 15, 2015, is open to NC middle school and high school students in grades 6 through 12. To participate, students are asked to produce a video up to 30 seconds as a Public Service Announcement (PSA) urging their friends and other students to stop misusing and abusing prescription drugs. Students can win prizes ranging from ipads to Amazon gift cards for first, second and third place videos.
Watch The Created by Brandi Walker, the 2014 Winner of the Stop Rx Abuse Contest
To promote this year’s contest, Attorney General Cooper will visit schools in Charlotte, Wilmington, New Bern and Winston Salem.
Teens Can Participate in the Stop Rx Abuse contest following these instructions:
- Produce an original video and upload it to YouTube.
- Send an email to [email protected] that includes a link to the video, your name, grade level, and school name.
- Complete the application and release form (available at www.ncdoj.gov/stoprxabuse) and submit them along with a transcript of the video.
The Dangers & Risks Of Prescription Drug Abuse Among Teens
Prescription drug abuse: Taking a drug prescribed to someone else or taking a prescribed drug other than directed by a doctor.
Drugs that require a prescription also require a doctor or nurse to consider the risks and benefits associated with the use of the drug on a case by case basis. This is why it is important for only the person who has the prescription to take the drugs as only as prescribed. Any other use of a prescribed drug is illegal. Similar to the use of illicit drugs, the illegal use of a prescription drug can cause brain damage and other health problems including overdose, damage to organs (heart, liver, lungs) or nerve damage. Prescription drugs can also be addictive, causing the user to become physically and mentally dependent on the drug.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse’s list of commonly abused prescription drugs include:
- Opioids (prescription painkillers such as OxyContin, Vicodin or codeine)
- Depressants (sleep aids or anti-anxiety medication such as Valium)
- Stimulants (big among college students, stimulants can included Adderall or Ritalin, used for ADD)
The Stop Rx Abuse campaign highlights the fact that just one pill can kill. In North Carolina alone, there are over 1,000 deaths related to prescription drug abuse every year. Teens who abuse prescription drugs place themselves at risk of death without even realizing it, as 51% of teens do not perceive the misuse of prescription drugs as a threat to their lives. Since prescription drugs are easier to obtain (49% say they got them from a friend or relative, 42% from parent’s medicine cabinet), students do not think of prescription drug abuse as they do the use of illegal drugs. A survey conducted by the Partnership at DrugFree.org shows 1 in 4 teens have abused prescription drugs at least once in their lifetime, and 20% have abused prescription a drug before the age 14.
A Note To Parents: Prescription drug abuse is illegal and just as harmful as the use of illicit drugs such as marijuana or cocaine. You can play an active role in preventing teen prescription drug abuse. One simple thing all parents can do is properly dispose of any unused prescription medicine. Keep your children safe by locking your medicine cabinet, even if you don’t suspect your child of abusing drugs. Educate yourself about the dangers and risks of prescription drug abuse so that you can talk to your children about it as well.