Teen conference aims to make prescriptions ‘a tough pill to swallow’

Forty area high school students participated in learning strategies on how to combat substance abuse, particularly prescription drugs, during the 21st Regional Teen Leadership Conference held Aug. 24-25 at the Mount Saint Joseph Conference and Retreat Center.


Webster County youth staff perform “Snow White and the 7 Pill Using Dwarves.”

Representatives from law enforcement and the medical and mental health communities conducted the event. Students from Apollo, Daviess County, Owensboro and Owensboro Catholic, Ohio County and Webster County high schools plan to take the information learned back to their schools and share it with their teachers and classmates.

The keynote speaker was Mike Burleson, executive director of the Kentucky Board of Pharmacy. Prior to assuming his position with the board, Burleson was a pharmacy manager with Walgreen’s and a pharmacy owner for 19 years in Henderson, Ky. He was a founder and served on HOPE Inc., Hendersonians Offering a Promising Environment from 1983 through October 2002.


Youth and adult participants gather on the courtyard steps of the Mount Saint Joseph Conference and Retreat Center.

The workshops also included: Marijuana Research and Information, Strategic Prevention Framework, Seven Strategies for Community Change, Prescription Drugs: the five myths for use and much more.

Youths returning to their respective schools have committed to provide “peer to peer” trainings on the risks associated using prescription drugs not prescribed to the user.

This initiative was funded in part by RiverValley Behavioral Health and the Kentucky Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities. 


Owensboro Catholic High School students plan prevention projects for the fall semester.