On Thursday, I joined Sen. Katie Stine and Rep. John Tilley in announcing bipartisan legislation addressing the resurgence of heroin in Kentucky. Last year, heroin overdose deaths increased 650 percent across the Commonwealth. We cannot stand idly by and watch our families be torn apart by this scourge. This legislation increases punishment for traffickers, promotes treatment for addicts, and increases public awareness and education. I’m proud to stand with Sen. Stine and Rep. Tilley to tackle this important issue head on. Make no mistake about it; this bill will save lives in Kentucky.
Earlier this week, my office announced the winners of our 2013 Keep Kentucky Kids Safe video PSA contest. We started this annual competition for middle and high school students in 2010 as part of my office’s statewide prescription drug abuse awareness and prevention initiative. This year’s winning PSA was submitted by Calloway County High School. The students include Austin Alexander, Cameron Brown, Keaston Johnson, Braxton Bogard, Taylor Smith and Jacob Garland. Finishing second was a submission also produced by a group of students from Calloway County High, and the Clark County ASAP Youth Network from George Rogers Clark High School received an honorable mention for their video PSA. I want to thank all of the students who participated in this year’s contest. The videos that were submitted this year are creative and educational, and they will help alert all Kentuckians to the heavy toll that prescription drug abuse is taking on families across the Commonwealth. You can view the winning PSAs at ag.ky.gov/rxabuse. The first-place video will also be included with anti-drug PSAs the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy distributes to Kentucky television stations. Congratulations to all of the winners!
With the holiday season upon us, I want to remind Kentuckians to consider toy safety information when buying gifts for children. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC), there were an estimated 265,000 toy-related injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms in 2012. Of those injured, more than 70 percent were children younger than 15 years of age. Keeping our kids safe is one of my top priorities. Be sure to follow the recommended age ranges on toy packages and read all instructions carefully before letting your child play with a toy he or she receives as a gift. Also, always be aware that young children can choke on small toy and toy parts. You can find more safety tips to keep in mind this holiday season, as well as a guide to the latest toy and product recall information, on the Office of the Attorney General’s website at ag.ky.gov or the CPSC’s website at www.cpsc.gov. I want the holidays to be as safe and happy as possible for all Kentucky families.
Next week, Elizabeth and I are looking forward to spending Christmas with our two daughters. On behalf of my family and the staff here at the Office of the Attorney General, have a joyous holiday season and a blessed new year.