WVPA Sharing

West Virginia eighth-grader’s design brings awareness of opioid abuse

WV Press Sharing

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey hopes an eighth-grader’s winning design will help bring to light the harsh realities of opioid abuse and the destruction it can cause.
 
Liliona McKenzie Wright, of Rivesville Elementary/Middle School in Marion County, recently won the Attorney General’s Kids Kick Opioids contest. Now her illustration of how prescription painkiller abuse impacts one’s family and loved ones is appearing in newspapers across the state.
 
Wright’s winning design features a drawing of a woman crying with a thought bubble depicting prescription pills above her head. “She was beautiful like a porcelain doll until she picked up the bottle, beauty began to fade as the doll cracked and shattered…,” the illustration reads.
 
“Liliona’s design portrays the grim reality of the opioid epidemic and how opioid abuse can devastate families and end lives,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “Kids Kick Opioids continues to be a great initiative that can help us stop senseless death by getting the message out to young and old alike that drugs can kill. We remain dedicated to attacking the root causes of opioid abuse.”
 
Wright’s design was chosen from among the 67 entries announced as regional winners. The submissions included a mix of drawings, poems and other designs aimed at promoting awareness.
 
Judges also recognized eighth-grader Caitlin Modesitt of Ravenswood Middle School as statewide runner-up. Her design now appears with Liliona’s on the Attorney General’s website at www.wvago.gov.
 
Kids Kick Opioids represents one of many initiatives through which the Attorney General has sought to combat West Virginia’s drug overdose death rate, including a lawsuit against the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration that achieved sweeping reforms to the nation’s drug quota system.
 
The Attorney General also has combated the opioid crisis with civil litigation, multistate initiatives, funding to target opioid abuse, criminal prosecutions, new technology, engagement with the faith-based community and education.
 
The West Virginia Board of Pharmacy, West Virginia Association of School Nurses and the Capitol Police assisted the Attorney General in judging the public service announcement contest.

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