Mercer County student wins Kids Kick Opioids contest

CHARLESTON — Attorney General Patrick Morrisey hopes a fourth grader’s colorful design will succeed in convincing everyone across West Virginia to think twice before abusing prescription painkillers.

The student, Blake Pacitto, of Mercer County, won the Attorney General’s Kids Kick Opioids contest. Now his illustration of how opioid abuse threatens all aspects of the user’s life will appear in newspapers across the state.

Blake’s winning design explains the pervasive impact of opioid abuse, specifically in affecting the user’s employment, home life and time spent with loved ones. It also warns that opioid abuse could ultimately lead to prison or death.

“Blake’s simple design speaks volumes,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “It underscores, in the simplest of terms, how getting hooked on opioid drugs can ruin every aspect of one’s life. I hope everyone in our state will take note of Blake’s message because prevention is key to stopping senseless death.”

Blake represents Lashmeet/Matoaka Elementary School. His entry was among 2,087 received from 2,300 students. The submissions came from 70 middle and elementary schools across West Virginia and included a mix of drawings, poems and other designs aimed at promoting awareness.

Blake’s design and that of the statewide runner-up, Nevaeh Premo of Rivesville Elementary/Middle School in Marion County, can be viewed at

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