Tennessee district attorneys launch anti-drug campaign

Tennessee district attorneys launch anti-drug campaign

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By JESSA LEWIS
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - District attorneys from across Tennessee are meeting this week in Knoxville for the Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference. They took time Wednesday to roll out a new anti-drug campaign.

The new program targets middle and high school students to teach them the dangers of prescription and synthetic drugs.

Tennessee's district attorneys hope that hearing about the dangers of prescription and synthetic drugs from former addicts in a new video will keep students from using them in the future.

"I had one of the prosecutors yesterday tell me he was in a school with 180 kids in an assembly and said you could have literally heard a pin drop, that they were paying very close attention to this video and we believe that will be all over the state," said Knox County District Attorney Randy Nichols.

The new campaign comes after an anti-meth campaign launched a few years ago.

"I've never met anybody yet that's addicted and wants to be addicted. You'd think that would end the problem. But you know in Tennessee now, we've got more kids that are dying from the abuse of prescription pills and synthetics than from car wrecks," Nichols added.

DAs in West Tennessee have gotten a jump start on the program. The video has already been shown in several schools.

"It's been very enlightening to watch their reaction, and every time I've seen the video, I've learned something new. We've had some great conversations after each of the showings at the different schools I've been to," said Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich.

Knox County students haven't seen the video yet, but Nichols hopes it will help stop the trend from growing.

"In Knox County alone, we had 13 to 14 percent of the kids in a self-reporting survey that said they had used illegal prescription drugs within the past 30 days," Nichols said. "It's scary."

The Destructive Danger video is scheduled to be seen at several schools in our area in the coming weeks, including Cocke, Union and Jefferson counties.

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