O'Brien House is expanding its first essay contest open to high school students to include the entire state of Louisiana. O’Brien House is the Baton Rouge, LA Affiliate of NCADD.

The contest's purpose is to offer a creative outlet to young people who have been personally touched by addiction in order to provide therapy and increase awareness about the effects of addiction among today's youth.

The contest launched on June 12th, 2017 and will run throughout the summer and the beginning of the school year. The deadline for submission is September 1st, 2017. The winners will be publicly announced and recognized at the O'Brien House Annual Breakfast on September 13th, 2017.

The first place winner will be awarded $1000, second place will receive $300, and third place will receive $200.

Rules for the contest and guidelines for submission can be found at www.obrienhouseessays.com. Judges of the essay contest are James Fox-Smith, Country Roads Magazine Publisher; Virginia Archer, founder of New South Story Lab; Robin Palmer Blanche, young adult author and screenwriter.

"The youth of our community are in a strategic position to help shine a light on the issues which we must overcome to fight addiction. Additionally, writing about their experiences can offer them a way to express and create in a way that sitting in a lecture cannot. It's just one of the many ways we hope to provide awareness and therapy to the young people in our community," said Amy Strother, O'Brien House board member, "We decided to expand the area due to the short time frame this first year. We are hoping this expansion will increase the number of entries. Our plan is to include the whole state from here forward annually."

O’Brien House was established in 1971 to serve recovering adult alcoholics and drug addicts. Over the past 46 years, the services of O’Brien House have evolved into a more comprehensive continuum of care that includes treatment, prevention and community development initiatives. For more information on O'Brien House please visit www.obrienhouse.org.