Senator McIlhinney Announces “Talk to Your Senator” Statewide Video Contest Launched To Engage PA Students in Fighting Growing Drug Epidemic

(Harrisburg) State Senator Chuck McIlhinney is urging Pennsylvania middle and high school students to help find solutions to the growing heroin and opioid epidemic facing the state by producing a video aimed at focusing greater awareness on the crisis.

“Talk to Your State Senator,” a statewide video competition sponsored by the Senate of Pennsylvania with support from members of the Drug and Alcohol Service Providers Association of PA, is intended to get students involved in legislative efforts to fight heroin and opioid abuse.  Students are encouraged to submit video entries of no longer than five minutes that highlight ways to combat abuse, help those who suffer from addiction and develop laws to address the current crisis.

“Legislators have been seeking input on how we can solve this growing health care crisis, and we want to enlist the help of young people in our schools, who see the impact first hand”, McIlhinney said.  “Through this video contest, we hope to harness the creativity and perspective of students to help us craft policy and legislation to combat drug abuse.”

“Talk to Your Senator” is open to Pennsylvania students in grades 6 through 12 and will provide a total of $10,000 in cash prizes to winning entries that focus on ways to prevent drug and alcohol abuse among young people.  Prize money will be awarded through the TAP 529 Account program in the PA Department of Treasury and will be deposited into a college savings account in the winner(s) name.  Videos will be judged based on creativity, content and effectiveness of message delivery.

Schools and students can find more information on the contest, including guidelines on submitting videos, content, judging, and prizes, at www.acommonwealthcrisis.com, a website established by the Pennsylvania Senate as a tool to provide information and resources on the heroin and opioid crisis. 

Entries must be submitted using the registration form available online at www.acommonwealthcrisis.com/talk-to-your-state-senator/.  The deadline for video entries is December 10, 2017.

The Drug and Alcohol Service Providers Organization of Pennsylvania is a statewide coalition of drug and alcohol abuse prevention and education programs, student assistance programs, drug and alcohol addiction treatment programs, recovery services, several statewide drug and alcohol organizations and others.  

CONTACT:    Heather Cevasco         215-489-5000