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Mallori DeSalle
Indiana Prevention Resource Center

Tracy James
IU Communications

Charles Rondot
IU School of Public Health-Bloomington

Last modified: Thursday, May 16, 2013

IU video contest winners learn from PSAs about prescription drug abuse

May 16, 2013

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Brian Fischer, a senior at Jeffersonville High School in Jeffersonville, Ind., won the Public Service Announcement Video Contest, which is part of a growing effort statewide to address a rising problem affecting Indiana youth.

4 out of 5 people

This is an image from the winning video

The Indiana Prevention Resource Center at the Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington sponsors the contest, now in its fifth year, and considers prescription drug abuse by youth to be an epidemic in Indiana. In addition to the contest, the IPRC supports more targeted local initiatives that are part of the Indiana Division of Mental Health and Addiction's Partnerships for Success Initiative.

Partnerships for Success works to increase youth perceptions of risk, and monitoring of prescription drug dispensing by pharmacists and physicians.

"By contributing to efforts to increase awareness of prescription drug abuse, the Keep Rx Safe PSA contest is important and complimentary to the Partnerships for Success Initiative," said Courtney Olcott, IPRC Partnerships for Success project officer.

The PSA video contest is designed to engage and empower youth around the state to increase awareness of prescription drug abuse. Fischer said he "learned a lot about misuse and abuse of prescription drugs on the website," while doing something that was fun and gave him the opportunity to test his production skills and abilities. Bruce Patton, a teacher at Attica Junior and Senior High School in Attica, Ind., said the project is both educational and for a good cause.

"This is my third year participating in the contest," said Josh Phelps, a senior at Jeffersonville High School. "It has been a great experience. I heard from a man who had been hooked on prescription drugs my sophomore year, and it has stayed with me since. Doing something creative that could possibly help keep people from misusing prescription drugs made this project and contest worthwhile."

This year's contest received 47 entries from more than 130 students. The announcement of the winners coincides with National Prevention Week, May 12 to 18. Winners' PSA videos are featured on The winners also will receive prize packages including video production equipment, gift cards and backpacks.

Andy Morris, 14, a student in the Monroe County Community School Corp., served as a contest judge this year.

"Before viewing the videos, I had no idea prescription drug abuse was such a large problem in our country," he said.

Olcott said Indiana youth were second in the nation in reported use of a prescription drug without a doctor's order, according to the 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The consequences of prescription drug misuse include drug dependency, overdose and death. Indiana ranks 19th in the nation in deaths from drug overdose, with a rate that exceeds the national average, and the majority of these deaths are from prescription drugs, she said.

The winners:

  • First place: "Scratch Drugs Out of Your Life," Brian Fischer, Jeffersonville High School, Jeffersonville, Ind.
  • Second place: "Together We Can," Tom Felke, Nate Kolter, Nick Bayley and Trenton Briles, Plymouth High School, Plymouth, Ind.
  • Third place: "Drugs," Andrew Norris, Cody Mathis, Mikaela Gordon, Jill Warner, David Shirley, Callie McDougal, Jenna Beecher, Brooke Long and Nate Rhodes, LaCrosse High School, LaCrosse, Ind.
  • Fourth place: "Focus," Bill Pfohl, Carmel High School, Carmel, Ind.
  • Fifth place: "Adam," Adam Ellis, Roy Burch, Jeffersonville High School, Jeffersonville, Ind. was created by the IPRC and funded by Family & Social Services Association/Division of Mental Health and Addiction. The IPRC is operated by the Department of Applied Health Science at the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington. The IPRC is funded, in part, by the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, Division of Mental Health and Addiction, and financially supported through Health and Human Services/Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant.

For more information about the website or contest, contact Mallori DeSalle at 812-855-5735 or

About the School of Public Health-Bloomington

With nearly 3,000 students in an array of undergraduate and advanced degree programs, the School of Public Health-Bloomington offers a traditional campus experience enriched by 21st-century innovation. More than 120 faculty in five academic departments -- Department of Kinesiology; Department of Applied Health Science; Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Studies; Department of Environmental Health; and Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics -- conduct major research, teach and engage with communities across a broad spectrum of health, wellness and disease-prevention topics. Each department offers numerous majors, minors and opportunities for graduate and undergraduate studies. In addition to its academic departments, the school administers Campus Recreational Sports, which serves roughly 80 percent of the IU Bloomington student body through various intramural, club and individual sports opportunities.