National Youth Media Awards competition tackles drugs issue

Prizes range from €250 to €1,000 for the best videos, posters, articles and podcasts

Ana Liffey chief executive Tony Duffin with RTÉ presenter Bláthnaid Treacy. Photo credit: Drugs.ie

Ana Liffey chief executive Tony Duffin with RTÉ presenter Bláthnaid Treacy. Photo credit: Drugs.ie

 

Young adults are being encouraged to write about issues such as club drugs and steroids as part of a revamped Drugs.ie National Youth Media Awards.

Now in its fourth year, organisers Drugs.ie have adopted a different tact to previous editions by creating age-specific topics that young people aged between 12-17 and 18-25 can engage with.

Entrants in the younger category, which is split between 12-14 and 15-17-year-olds, are asked to write about the risks of underage drinking and cannabis use, while those aged between 18-21 and 22-25 will grapple with the risks of club drugs and performance and image enhancing drugs (PIEDs).

Prizes ranging from €250 to €1,000 are on offer for the best videos, posters, articles and podcasts across the age ranges.

As part of the competition’s continued partnership with The Irish Times, winning entries will also be considered for publication on its online 2nd level and 3rd level Student Hub sites.

“It’s critical that people have the opportunity to engage with their peers on topics that have relevance in their lives,” said Tony Duffin, chief executive of the Ana Liffey Drug Project which runs Drugs.ie.

Mr Duffin added: “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’.

“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.”

The awards are supported and hosted by RTÉ television presenter Bláthnaid Treacy.

Last year’s awards attracted over 700 entries, with the overall top prize going to students from Coláiste Eoin secondary school in Finglas.

The application deadline for the 2017/18 competition is 22nd January, and those interested can enter at drugs.ie/awards.