YAKIMA – The Attorney General’s Office is proud to join forces with prevention leaders across Washington for the 2008 Washington State Prevention Summit this week at the Yakima Convention Center. As a rally leader for the Prevention Jam, Attorney General Rob McKenna will join students and adults in demonstrating their commitment to improving Washington communities. The jam begins at 4:45 p.m. Friday, Oct. 17.
REPORTER: Why did you decide to get involved in the Youth Prevention Summit?
Prevention 1.MP3 (19 sec)
I’ve been traveling the state for three and a half years visiting more than 60 high schools talking to over 30,000 high school students about methamphetamine and I realize that I’m not going to get to all the schools in our state so it makes sense to bring the kids to us where we can talk to them – not only about meth but about other challenges like prescription drug abuse.
REPORTER: How is your office involved in the summit?
Prevention 2.MP3 (15 sec)
We’re helping to fund this summit with money that I recovered from the maker of OxyContin, a drug company called Purdue Pharma. We’ve also helped organize this summit with our staff being directly involved in its planning and I look forward to speaking to all the teenagers and prevention specialists who are attending the summit on Friday.
REPORTER: This year’s summit has a new focus on prescription drugs. Why is that important?
(Prevention 3.MP3) (13 sec)
We’re now losing almost as many people to prescription drug overdose deaths as we are to traffic accidents in our state. We’ve got to turn the corner on prescription drug abuse the way we have on methamphetamine addiction. If we do so, we’ll save a lot of lives.
REPORTER: What can young people expect at this year’s summit?
Prevention 4.MP3 (17 sec)
We’re having a youth rally, we’ll have social events for them and most importantly, workshops in which they can learn on how to go back to their schools and deliver a prevention message to their classmates. We’re looking to the kids to put on programming in their schools that will educate about prescription drug abuse, about methamphetamine abuse and other problems.
REPORTER: Teens love technology. How are you going to use technology at the summit?
Prevention 5.MP3 (25 sec)
Well, we’ll be using technology during the summit, of course, to help get the message across about issues like prescription drug abuse and methamphetamine addiction. But most importantly, after the summit, we’ll keep all the teenagers connected to each other through a Web site, through YouTube, social networking tools like MySpace and Facebook, basically creating a virtual community among those teenagers who attend the summit and go back to their schools to work on these problems in their own communities.
REPORTER: Is there still time to sign up?
Prevention 6.MP3 (12 sec)
We still have space available at the conference, so anyone hearing this message who might be interested in signing up can go to our Web site, atg.wa.gov, to learn more about how to attend and how to sign up.
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Media Contacts: Dan Sytman, Media Relations Manager – Olympia, (360) 586-7842 (available after Wednesday)
Kristin Alexander, Media Relation Manager – Seattle, (206) 464-6432