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Video: State Releases PSA to Warn Parents About Signs of Heroin Abuse

 

From the Office of Attorney General Jack Conway:

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway and the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy have jointly released a public service announcement (PSA) to increase awareness of heroin abuse among young people and to warn their parents of the signs.

The 30-second PSA, (click here to watch), depicts a young woman in a morgue who describes how easy it has been to hide her heroin habit from her parents—that is until she becomes an overdose victim.

"This short PSA sends an important message to parents and teens across Kentucky," General Conway said. "Don't overlook the signs of heroin use. Missing prescription pills, valuables and lost appetite are all signs that your child may be abusing heroin, prescription pills or other illicit drugs. Ignoring the signs could mean a lifetime of heartache."

The PSA, produced by the Nassau County, NY District Attorney's Office, being distributed to television stations across Kentucky along with other drug abuse prevention videos, including the winning Keep Kentucky Kids Safe prescription drug abuse prevention PSA produced by members of the Clark County High School ASAP Youth Network.

While prescription drug abuse has risen, so too has heroin abuse. Heroin samples collected and analyzed by the Kentucky State Police lab jumped 211 percent from 2010 to 2012. The lab analyzed and confirmed 433 heroin submissions in 2010 compared to 1,349 in 2012.

"The misuse of prescription medications is often a stepping stone to the abuse of illicit drugs like Heroin," said Van Ingram, Executive Director of the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy. "Tamper-proof formulations of popular opioids have also contributed to a resurgence of Heroin abuse and it's cheaper and more readily available."

Kentucky is the fourth most medicated state in the country, and it has the sixth highest rate of overdose deaths. More than 1,000 Kentuckians die each year from prescription drug overdoses.

Warning Signs of Drug Abuse:

  • Unexplained weight loss or gain
  • Inability to sleep, fatigue
  • Slowed or staggering walk
  • Extreme hyperactivity
  • Tremors
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Needle marks of lower arm, leg or bottom of feet
  • Change in overall attitude/personality
  • Declining academic performance
  • Sudden oversensitivity, moodiness
  • Unexplained need for money

If your child is abusing heroin, prescription drugs or another illicit substance, visit http://ag.ky.gov/rxabuse or http://odcp.ky.gov to find important information and resources. Parents can also call a toll-free Helpline at 1-855-DRUGFREE (1-855-378-4373).

Photo: Screen shot from anti-heroin PSA