CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey's office has named a north central West Virginia student as the statewide winner of the Kids Kick Opioids contest, a competition meant to creatively illustrate the devastation caused by prescription painkiller abuse.
Judges selected Karter King of Rivesville Elementary/Middle School in Marion County as the statewide winner. They chose her artwork from entries submitted by more than 3,400 students across West Virginia. The contest has generated more than 9,500 entries since its inception.
The eighth-grader’s winning design whimsically illustrates how opioid abuse ruins lives and warns, “Try them and see, you might NEVER break free!” It will soon appear in newspapers across West Virginia as the Attorney General’s next public service announcement.
“Congratulations to Karter and to all the regional winners,” Morrisey said. “Karter’s creation shows the frightening potential opioids have to ruin a person’s life, not just that of the user but his or her family and loved ones. I urge adults to take to heart the strong message of Karter’s simple design.
“This year’s entries really showcase the tremendous talent of our elementary and middle school participants. They also underscore the seriousness of the drug epidemic and leave no doubt that our students understand the impact of opioid abuse. Let’s hope their artwork will bring about a new awareness and a renewed commitment to change,” he added.
Judges also recognized Emma Parker, an eighth-grade student at Moorefield Middle School in Hardy County, as statewide runner-up. Her design will appear with Karter’s on the Attorney General’s website.
Judges recognized 49 winning entries from 56 students overall. Karter, Emma and each of the regional winners will have their works displayed at the State Capitol.
The Attorney General received 3,240 entries from 3,422 students at 96 schools across West Virginia – the highest participation since Kids Kick Opioids began. The submissions included a mix of drawings, poems and other designs aimed at promoting awareness.
Kids Kick Opioids represents just one way the Attorney General has sought to combat West Virginia’s drug overdose death rate – the nation’s highest. Other actions include criminal prosecutions, civil litigation, sweeping changes to federal drug policy, multistate partnerships, awareness initiatives and engagement with the faith-based community.
The West Virginia State Medical Association, West Virginia Association of School Nurses and the Capitol Police assisted the Attorney General in judging the public service announcement contest.