Fighting Heroin: Gov. Bevin Launches Painted Rock Campaign to Raise Awareness

The Kentucky governor's office is hoping that the painted rocks trend can have a positive impact on the state's opioid/heroin crisis.

Governor Matt Bevin's office began placing painted rocks around Kentucky on Thursday afternoon in order to raise awareness to the Don't Let Them Die initiative.

"Though this promotion is intended to be encouraging and fun, it seeks to raise awareness across the Commonwealth about a tragically serious epidemic," said Amanda Stamper, Bevin's director of communications. "Last year, 1,404 Kentuckians died as a result of an opioid overdose. Gov. Bevin is committed to providing the policies and resources necessary to ensure we eradicate this scourge." 

Painted rock searches, a form of hide-and-go-seek, is a new, wildly popular trend. The concept is simple: volunteers paint and decorate rocks, then place them for others to find. When one finds a painted rock they can photograph themselves with it and then post the photo to their social media outlet of choice. Finders are encouraged to then hide the rock for others to find. The goal is not to find and keep the rocks, but to make continue placing them for others to discover. 

SEE PREVIOUSLY: Hidden Rocks Spread Messages of Joy and Kindness in Northern Kentucky

The DLTD painted rock campaign will be promoted on the governor’s social media pages, including his new Instagram account.

In addition to decorative art, these rocks will include a brief message of encouragement and hope, as well as the URL, a website providing information about opioids, treatment options, and the overdose antidote, naloxone. Rocks for this campaign will initially be hidden in the Frankfort, Lexington and Louisville areas but the Governor’s office hopes to have rocks placed in all 120 Kentucky counties within two weeks. 

Kentuckians can help spread the word by painting and hiding their own rocks with painted on the back and sharing on social media using hashtag #DLTD, the governor's office said.

-Staff report

Photo provided