On Tuesday, October 30th at Freedom Hall in Louisville, over 8,500 Kentucky 7th and 8th graders gathered for the Lousiville Youth Summit on Opioid Awareness. The Summit, organized in partnership with Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, The Jefferson County Public Schools and the local CBS affiliate, WLKY TV, was a 3 hour program designed to educate, inspire and engage area youth to be part of the solution to ending the opioid epidemic.
MC’ed by WLKY TV personalities, Julie Dolan and Stephon Dingle, the Summit featured presentations from Jim Wahlberg; Head Basketball Coach of the University of Lousiville, Chris Mack; Dr. Eric Yazel; national opioid awareness advocate, Emily Walden; recovery advocate Tara Mosely and Miss Kentucky2018, Braea Tilford; among others.
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.