Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano announced a competition to help promote awareness of the dangers of drugs—particularly heroin and prescription pain pills—and to explore what educational institutions are doing to address the disease of addiction. Nassau County’s 4th Annual Drug Alternatives’ Public Service Announcement (PSA) Contest is once again open to high school students, and expanded to college students, as part of National Red Ribbon Awareness Campaign activities.
This year’s Red Ribbon theme, “YOLO (You Only Live Once). Be Drug Free,” was selected to advocate and educate youth to create drug-free communities. Each student and educational institution that participates in the competition will receive a citation, honoring them for their efforts in helping to create drug-free communities.
“I call on high school and college students, faculty, health instructors, film teachers and social workers to encourage their students to enter the contest and help us educate today’s young people on the dangers of drug abuse and addiction,” said Mangano.
The contest requires students to create a 30-second PSA that suggests positive alternatives to heroin and other drug misuse and abuse. Contest submissions can include how: “experimenting” with drugs often leads to physical and mental dependence; shame and embarrassment can deter youth from seeking help for their drug and/or mental health issues; untreated depression or other mental health issues may lead to self-medication and substance abuse; and how substance-use disorder is a disease and therefore a public health issue.
Educational institutions may submit multiple entries, created either by an individual or a group of students. Videos should also provide links to local resources available for help, such as Nassau County’s 24/7 Helpline at 516-227-8255. PSAs should provide hope, help and positive alternatives to drug misuse and abuse.
First-, second- and third-place prizes will be awarded for the winning entries in both the high school and college level divisions. Multiple entries from the same school/college will be accepted. All PSAs become the property of the county upon submission and may be reproduced for publication. PSA entries should be submitted on a flash drive.
The deadline for submission is Friday, Nov. 18. An award ceremony for all participants will be held in January.
To participate, call Paula Pontrelli at 516-227-7038 for the required registration form.