Students from schools in Warrnambool and Timboon have used a new art competition to share their take on the impact alcohol and other drugs. The Western Region Drug and Alcohol Centre (WRAD) is hosting its first Art in Schools competition which has prompted a series of graphic entries depicting the effects of alcohol and other drugs on the mind.

Thirteen canvas artworks have been chosen as finalists for the competition and the winners will be announced on June 15. The art will be on display at the ArtLink Gallery and Studio in Koroit Street Warrnambool from June 4 to June 15. The competition is being run as part of National Drug Week which will be held from June 17-23. Each of the entries has been accompanied by words from the artist about their inspiration for the work.

The first prize is $500, and there will be a $250 people’s choice award and five $100 encouragement awards.

One of the organisers and WRAD Alcohol and Other Drugs and Acquired Brian Injury Clinician, Trudy Marr, said the competition was an opportunity to get a fresh look at issues surrounding alcohol and other drugs from the impressions of young people. “Young people have a different perspective on how drugs and alcohol affect the mind and the competition has helped WRAD to get a better understanding of how they view the issue,” Mrs Marr said. “It has also helped to raise awareness within schools about the problems associated with drug and alcohol abuse.”

Drug Action Week in 2012 is following the theme `looking after your mind’ and the competition encouraged students to create art as it relates to the mind. The competition has been sponsored by WRAD and the Department of Health Barwon South West Region.

The competition is the first of a three-part campaign by WRAD which will culminate in a publication to highlight students’ perspectives of drug addiction.

Next year students and WRAD clients will be invited to submit poetry and short stories for the publication.