Lackawanna County Government is strongly committed to fighting the Opioid epidemic.

In that vein, Commissioner Laureen A. Cummings is spearheading a public awareness campaign surrounding the issue to discuss its inherent dangers.

As part of the strategy to eradicate this crisis, she and her colleagues, Commissioners Patrick M. O’Malley and Jerry Notarianni, are sponsoring a Public Service Announcement contest entitled “Say Yes to Life!” Its intent is to educate the public about the dangers of opioid use and its debilitating affects on our youth.

In 2015 in Lackawanna County, 69 people died of overdoses most of which were attributed to opioids and everyday deaths from this opioid use continue to be reported. Opioids are drugs that act on the nervous system to relieve pain. These include the illegal drug of heroin, as well as legally prescribed drugs such as oxycodone (OxyContin®), hydrocodone (Vicodin®), codeine, morphine, fentanyl, and many others. These drugs can be highly addictive and when misused or abused can lead to death.

The County is seeking submissions for its online video contest that individuals or organizations (both for profit and non-profit) may apply. Awards of $500 each will be given in three categories: Judges’ choice - Youth (under 18 years of age); Judges’ choice - over 18 years of age; and People’s Choice.

The People’s on-line voting will start Tuesday, October 17, and run until Monday, November 6.

The PSA submission deadline is Monday, October 16. The winners will be announced on Friday, November 10.

Applications to enter the contest may be found on the County website or by contacting the Lackawanna County Arts and Culture Department at 570.963.6590, ext. 106, or email arts-culture@lackawannacounty.org.