On Tuesday, November 13th, more than 7,000 middle and school students and teachers from throughout West Virginia gathered at Charleston Civic Center for the West Virginia Youth Summit on Opioid Awareness. The high energy event focused on delivering the "drug free is up to me” message to all in attendance.
The Summit, MC’ed by local media personalities Amanda Barren of the NBC affilate WSAZ TV, and radio personalities Coach Kidd and Lauren Meyers of Electric 102.7, featured presentations from West Virginia Governor Jim Justice, US Attorney Mike Stuart; Jim Wahlberg; former NFL Player, Chris Massey; Ultimate Fighter, Court McGee; and several prevention and education advocates. The event also featured musical performances by country singer Jessie Chris; Rapper Antoine “AC” Cabarrus; and the band, Qiet.
4/5 new heroin users started out by abusing prescription painkillers.
Approximately 40% of drug overdose deaths in 2014 were from prescription pain relievers.
--American Society of Addiction Medicine: Opioid Addiction 2016 Facts and Figures
Prescription drug misuse has become a large public health problem, because misuse can lead to addiction, and even overdose deaths. For teens, it is a growing problem.
Drug overdoses are the current leading cause of accidental death in the U.S., having surpassed traffic fatalities.
--The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
After marijuana and alcohol, prescription drugs are the most commonly misused substances by Americans age 14 and older.