Haley Tye is rifling through a medicine cabinet and swiping her mother’s prescription drugs.
She was acting, portraying one of many teens who abuse drugs in a video created by the Clark County High School’s ASAP (Agency for Substance Abuse Policy) Youth Network. The video won the 2012 Keep Kentucky Kids Safe public service announcement contest, it was announced this week.
Later in the video, Tye’s mother, played by her real-life mom Terry Tye, discovers the misplaced drugs and disposes of them at the dropbox at the Winchester Police Department.
“We want to educate the public and remind them we have drug dropboxes in our community,” Clark County ASAP Coordinator Janna Smith said. “They are available to take unwanted, expired over-the-counter or prescription medication so they are disposed of properly and not in our water system or the trash.”
Attorney General Jack Conway announced the winner of the Keep Kentucky Kids Safe PSA award Monday.
The annual competition is for middle and high school students and is part of Conway’s prescription drug-abuse awareness and prevention initiative. The ASAP Youth Network members are Tye, Nick Bailey, Blake Cartwright, Brooks Harrison, Emily Houston, Abby Houston, Allyson Ledford, Anna Omohundro, Jacob Omohundro, Matthew Omohundro, Ali Peterson, Chanda Scobee and Chelsea Scobee.
Video creation and winning awards are not new to the group. The youth group was started several years ago when ASAP was awarded an Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws grant through the Kentucky State Police. Part of the grant was to start a youth group, and included funding for activities. ASAP used part of that money to purchase the equipment and software needed to create videos.
“We normally work on underage drinking, but this was on prescription drugs and the dropboxes,” said Tye, a senior at George Rogers Clark who has worked with the group since she was a sophomore. “It was neat to have success working on something geared toward something new.”
The group created three videos for this year’s Keep It Real contest, which concentrates on creating peer messages about the dangers of underage drinking. The group entered one video for last year’s competition, which won Best Cinematography.
The EUDL grant, a two-year, $34,000 allocation, expires this year.
“Unfortunately, that grant has ended and the federal government has decided to use that money elsewhere,” Smith said. “That grant is no longer available, and that’s unfortunate because it did a lot of great things.”
Smith said that won’t stop the youth group from continuing to make videos.
Tye said the experience of working with ASAP goes beyond the award-winning video making. She is now on the ASAP board and visits City Hall each month with officials and members of the community.
“It’s eye-opening the stats about deaths,” she said. “It really motivates me and the group to keep working on the videos and get the word out how dangerous drugs and alcohol can be, especially if you supply it to minors.”
The video can be seen at www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbZL75z3iOo
Contact Casey Castle at email@example.com.