One out of every eight Arkansas kids has abused prescription drugs, according a Department of Human Services survey.
On Friday, state leaders joined forces to launch Monitor, Secure and Dispose. It's an initiative to raise awareness about the issues.
The event started with lawmakers and enforcers sharing stats about just how prevalent this problem is here in the state. It ended on a more personal note, with one mother who lost her son because of prescription drug abuse, sharing her story of heartbreak.
Lately, Jennifer Bryan has spent time telling people about her firstborn, K.J. "He always seemed older than what he was; he had this wisdom about him," says Bryan.
"He had a God-given ability to play the guitar and his voice was beautiful, he used that talent to minister in the Dominican Republic and in Mexico after he got clean from drugs," says Bryan.
In fact, he was away at a church camp when Bryan got word people there couldn't wake him up. "The fact that I'm sharing my son's death with everybody, it's hard; it hurts," says Bryan.
Despite the pain, Bryan accepted state leaders' invitation to the Capitol.
"We are here to kick off a state wide campaign that we are calling monitor, secure and dispose," says Drug Director Fran Flener.
Her story is intended to raise awareness about a growing problem. "Arkansas sixth graders abuse prescription drugs above any other substance other than alcohol and cigarettes," Attorney General Dustin McDaniel says.
"When your heart breaks from the enormous pressure of losing a child, it changes you," shares Bryan.
Bryan talked to the crowd about how her son kicked street drugs, but mixed prescription drugs without the consent of a doctor.
"The cause of death was mixed drug ingestion; it was not an overdose," explains Bryan.
Now Bryan is warning teens it could happen to them.
Bryan says she'll continue to try to get through to people, though heartbroken, her voice is intact.
"As much as we hate to admit when our kids mess up, as much as we hate to think about them getting hurt, it doesn't do anybody any good to bury our heads in the sand," says Bryan.
Organizers say they want to encourage police departments, parents and communities to actively work to find ways to keep and dispose of prescription drugs, so kids can't get to them.
Recently, the Benton Police Department held Operation Medicine Cabinet, encouraging people to turn in their unused prescriptions. In one day, they collected more than $50,000 worth of pills.