A number of entrants have requested additional time to complete their entries for the Drugs.ie 'Let’s Talk about Drugs' National Media Awards Competition 2018. Following this feedback, the deadline date has been extended to April 9th 2018. Individuals who have already submitted an entry can submit additional entries if they choose.
The competition is primarily aimed at secondary schools, colleges and youth clubs nationwide and is supported by the Department of Health, the HSE, the Ana Liffey Drug Project, Healthy Ireland and the Drugs.ie website. Drugs.ie is Ireland’s National Drug and Alcohol Information and Support Website.
The Ana Liffey Drug Project launched the Drugs.ie “Let’s Talk About Drugs” National Youth Media Awards Competition 2018 last year with Bláthnaid Treacy from RTE. The competition, which is in its fifth year, encourages young people between the ages of 12-25 to discuss drug and alcohol-related issues creatively.
To enter, young people are asked to create an original piece of content based on themes chosen by the organisers. Young people can create either; a short video, an audio podcast, a news article or a poster based on specific themes.
This year, the Ana Liffey are taking a new approach to the competition by having school-age young people focus on the risks involved with cannabis and alcohol and having over 18s focus on the risks involved with club drugs and performance and image enhancing drugs (PIEDS). This means that young people can have meaningful, age-appropriate conversations and create more innovative entries that speak to their peers.
At the launch, Bláthnaid Treacy noted that it was important for young people to talk about drugs:
“Many young people will come into contact with drugs during their school and college years. When they do, it’s important that they can make informed, healthy decisions based on evidence. The ‘Let’s Talk About Drugs’ awards is a great opportunity for young people to engage with their peers around these issues. I was involved last year, and I’m delighted to take part this year too – it’s a great project.”
Ana Liffey CEO, Tony Duffin, echoed Ms Treacy’s comments and noted the reality of drug use among young people in Ireland:
“It’s critical that people have the opportunity to engage with their peers on topics that have relevance in their lives. This year, we have different themes for under and over 18s, and hope to engage more third level students, in line with the new National Drug Strategy ‘Reducing Harm, Supporting Recovery’. The topics chosen reflect this – underage drinking and cannabis use are very real issues for 12-17 year olds. European data shows that Irish young people are among the highest consumers of alcohol and cannabis, both of which can impact on cognitive development. Similarly, club and performance and image enhancing drugs are often relevant to young adults. Good, evidence-based information on these topics are available – and we’re really looking forward to seeing lots of creative entries this year.”
The categories for entering at 12-14, 15-17, 18-21 and 22-25. Each category winner will receive €250 in One4All vouchers. In addition, the overall winners of the 12-17 and 18-25 age groups will each receive vouchers to the value of €1,000.