North Carolina Department of Justice
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AG announces winners of first-ever Stop Rx Abuse video contest

Release date: 5/29/2012

Winning students hail from Durham, Union and Pitt Counties

Cary:  Three North Carolina high school students whose videos were selected out of more than 130 entries received awards as winners of the first-ever Stop Rx Abuse video contest on Tuesday.
  • Homero Plancarte, a student at City of Medicine Academy in Durham, won first place.
  • Trevor Belk, a student at Porter Ridge High School in Indian Trail, won second place.
  • Carson Banks, a student at Farmville Central High School in Farmville, won third place.
“These students’ videos will help us get the word out that prescription drugs are every bit as dangerous as street drugs when abused or misused,” Cooper said. 
Attorney General Roy Cooper presented the students with their awards today at a statewide conference on prescription drug abuse sponsored by his office, the US Attorney’s Offices in North Carolina, the North Carolina Medical Board, the North Carolina Board of Pharmacy, the North Carolina Board of Nursing, the North Carolina Justice Academy, and SAS.
To educate young people about the dangers of prescription drug abuse, Cooper partnered with the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators, the North Carolina Association of Pharmacists, and the Governor’s Institute on Substance Abuse to sponsor the competition. The contest asked students enrolled in grades 9 through 12 in North Carolina to create 30 second, original public service announcement videos on the topic of teen prescription drug abuse. 
The winning videos were selected by an independent panel of judges from 132 entries submitted. The first place winner received an Apple iPad, the second place winner received an iPod Touch, and the third place winner received an iTunes gift card. Prizes were provided by the contest sponsors.
The winning videos are featured on the NC Department of Justice website. Department of Justice staff also selected 10 videos as honorable mention winners. Honorable mention videos can be viewed at or on the office’s YouTube channel.
Data from North Carolina and other states demonstrate that prescription drugs kill more people than illegal drugs (See HHS 2007 Study – The Burden of Unintentional Poisoning in NC). Approximately 1,000 people died in North Carolina last year from overdosing on prescription drugs, according to preliminary data from the NC Division of Public Health. Nationwide, fatal drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death due to unintentional injury, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
The intentional abuse of prescription pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants and sedatives to get high is a growing concern, particularly among teens. Among people ages 12-17, prescription drugs are now the second most abused drug, behind marijuana. Though overall teen drug use is down nationwide, there are troubling signs that teens view abusing prescription drugs as safer than illegal drugs.
“Prescription drug abuse is a silent killer and it’s on the rise, especially among young people,” Cooper said. “By getting involved in fighting this epidemic, students can help educate their friends and families and hopefully prevent addiction and tragic overdose deaths.”
The Attorney General’s Office plans to sponsor the contest again next year.

Media contact: Noelle Talley (919) 716-6413