Governor, Attorney General Announce Student Contest to Fight Prescription Drug Abuse

September 2, 2014

Prescription Drugs are the Second Most Abused Drug Among Teens

    Las Vegas, NV – Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval and Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto announced today that middle and high school students can help fight prescription drug abuse and overdose deaths by informing their peers through a video contest.

      “It is our collective responsibility to combat the prescription drug abuse epidemic haunting our communities,” said Sandoval. “I am pleased to take part in this exciting competition that will encourage young adults to help educate their peers and inform parents and teachers of the dangers of substance abuse. Thank you to the Attorney General and all of the program sponsors for hosting this important competition.”

        “Prescription drug abuse can be lethal,” said Masto. “We want youth to talk about this silent killer to prevent abuse and drug-related fatalities. This is also a great opportunity to showcase this generation’s talent. We hope these videos will go viral.”

          All students enrolled in grades six through 12 or youth involved with a community-based team in Nevada are eligible to enter.

            Contest partners include the Nevada Statewide Coalition Partnership, Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health, Nevada Board of Pharmacy and Solutions Recovery, Inc.

              The goal of the contest is to reduce prescription drug abuse rates, especially amongst teens, throughout Nevada with the videos.

                About the Contest:
                The student video competition runs through Oct. 10. More details including the contest application are available at Information about the contest has been sent to high school principals and educators across Nevada to encourage participation from all corners of the state. Click here to view/download the flyer with more details.

                  The statewide judging panel consists of Gov. Sandoval; AG Masto; Dale Erquiaga, Superintendent of Public Instruction, Nevada Department of Education; Stacy Woodbury, Executive Director, Nevada State Medical Association; and Marie Mortera, Anchor, KSNV TV NBC 3.

                    To Participate in the Contest:

                    1. Produce an original video with one of the following lengths:
                      • YouTube, 30 seconds
                      • Instagram, 15 seconds 
                      • Vine, Max 6.5 seconds

                    2. Upload the video to YouTube.
                    3. Submit a brief application, a url or embedded code that includes a link to the video, and the release form on the contest website:

                      First, second, and third-place winners in the three categories (YouTube, Instagram, and Vine) will win prize money, donated by Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health, the Nevada Statewide Coalition Partnership and the Nevada State Board of Pharmacy.

                        Placement: PrizeMoney:
                        1st PlaceYouTube,Instagram,andVine $1,000
                        2nd PlaceYouTube,Instagram,and Vine $750
                        3rd PlaceYouTube,Instagram,and Vine $500

                          First place videos will also be featured on the website for the Nevada Attorney General and Solutions Recovery and will be recognized by Governor Sandoval in December.

                            Prescription Drug Abuse Statistics:
                            The intentional abuse of prescription pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants and sedatives is a growing concern, particularly among teens. Among people ages 12-17, prescription drugs are now the second most abused drug, behind marijuana.

                              According to the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 9.5 percent of adolescent youth aged 12-17 had used illicit drugs in the past month. Though overall teen drug use is down nationwide, Nevadans consume about twice the national average of prescription painkillers.

                                Teens view abusing prescription drugs as safer than abusing illegal drugs, despite the fact that over 200,000 emergency room visits each year are the result of prescription drug abuse. Teens often acquire prescription drugs from friends and family; in fact, youth will sometimes gather these medications to bring to pill parties, where youth engage in “pharming,” or mixing various pills together to ingest all at once.

                                  According the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s 2013 Monitoring the Future report, the use of illicit drugs amongst middle and high school age students is on the rise. The reports shows 14.9% of 8th graders, 31.8% of 10th graders and 40.3% of 12th graders have used illicit drugs at least once in the last year.