Thursday, May 31, 2012

Young Indiana filmmakers take action against prescription drug abuse

More than 130 Indiana youths from six counties competed in the Indiana Prevention Resource Center's fourth annual Video PSA Contest, which is designed to raise awareness of prescription drug abuse.

The PSA's can be viewed here and are available for public use. 

Prescription drug abuse is the fastest-growing drug problem in the United States, according to the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Indiana Prevention Resource Center's most recent Annual Youth Survey reported that 16 percent of Indiana 12-graders had used non-prescribed painkillers and nearly 15 percent of 12-graders also had used other prescription medications without a medical need. 

"It's gratifying to know that students around the Hoosier state realize the importance of stopping the use of non-prescribed prescription drugs, and I'm amazed how skilled these young people have been at getting the message to their peers through this wonderful public service announcement competition," said Mike Morris, Food Network producer and contest judge. "The Indiana Prevention Resource Center is to be commended for getting these high-school-age students to not only think about this important issue, but also for encouraging them to get the word out to a targeted audience in such an effective way."

 This year, Will Hanna and his classmate Mason Moody, both seniors at Jeffersonville High School in Jeffersonville, submitted the winning entry, "The Final Trip."

"I have truly enjoyed making videos for the PSA competition. It is quite an honor to win this year," Hanna said. "This is a great organization with a great message that helps to keep kids from misusing prescription drugs. I am so glad I have been a part of the effort to get the message out."

2012 PSA winners:
  • Will Hanna and Mason Moody, Jeffersonville High School, "The Final Trip." Thier 60-second PSA depicts a family's loss when a young person overdoses on prescription medication.
  • Mac Burns, Jeffersonville High School, "Don't Slow Down Your Future." This 30-second PSA shows the effects of abuse on everyday life.
  • Josh Phelps, Jeffersonville High School, "Start a New Day." This 30-second PSA suggests making changes from abuse to recovery.
  • Brittany Abney, Jackson Nolting and Tyler Vanblaricum, Columbus East High School, "You Can't Take It Back." This 60-second PSA captures how one high school student would change his life by avoiding abuse of prescription drugs.
  • Christian Hicks, Jerrod Hess-Stevens and Curtis Lindenmayer, Sheridan High School, "Michael's Story." This 60-second PSA shares a story about an unsuspecting student who struggled with prescription drug abuse.
Videos were submitted by students in Morgan, Hamilton, Vanderburgh, Clark, Bartholomew and Fountain counties.

Several of the submissions for this year's PSA contest were created as class projects, giving students more exposure to knowledge about prescription medication misuse.

The PSA contest inspired a similar contest in California by the National Coalition Against Prescription Drug Abuse. The Indiana contest is highlighted on the national coalition's website. A drug-free community grantee in Carmel, N.Y., featured last year's winning PSAs on local television stations.
About and the IPRC was created by the Indiana Prevention Resource Center and funded by Family & Social Services Association/Division of Mental Health and Addiction. The IPRC is operated by the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation and its Department of Applied Health Science. The center is funded, in part, by the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, Division of Mental Health and Addiction, and financially supported through the HHS/Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant.

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