WATCH: “The first one can turn you into a liar and thief. The last one a statistic"

A video chronicling the story surrounding the death of a young drug-user has emerged victorious in a media competition highlighting youth drug issues which received a record number of entries this year.

WATCH: “The first one can turn you into a liar and thief. The last one a statistic"

The ‘Let’s Talk about Drugs’ National Youth Media awards received 960 entries, compared to 650 last year.

The overall winner was Kells Youthreach, in Co Meath, for their video, ‘Monkey on Your Back’.

“It is the first one that turns you into a liar and a thief. The last one does make you a statistic and, if you don’t want to be one, is it time you educated yourself more about it?” the narrator asks at the end.

Video/Animation Category Winner (12-14): ‘Monkey on Your Back’, Kells Youthreach

The competition, for people aged between 12 and 25, was developed by Greater Blanchardstown Response to Drugs, in 2007. In 2014, the initiative became a national competition and is now managed by the Ana Liffey Drug Project.

Director of the Ana Liffey Drug Project, Tony Duffin, said the overall winning entry ended on a peer-to-peer call to young people to educate themselves about drug use and the potential risks.

“Ultimately, this is what the media awards are about,” he said.

Mr Duffin said that not all young people took illicit or unknown drugs. However, some did and the awards wanted to reduce the chances of drug-related injury or death.

“That’s why we will continue to work with our partners, to ensure that meaningful messages get through to this target group, via the media awards,” he said.

Television and radio presenter Eoghan McDermott, who attended the awards ceremony in Dublin, said drug-use was a problem across all age groups and all sectors of society.

“To have a project which encourages young people to think about drugs and drug-use, to start a conversation with their peers and to create such wonderful resources, is simply fantastic,” said Mr McDermott.

The standard was so high this year that the organisers have provided a list of ‘honourable mentions’. Theme-based entries included news articles, videos, audio recordings and posters. is an independent website, funded by the HSE and managed by The Ana Liffey Drug Project. It receives 180,000 Irish visitors and 500,000 international visitors every year.

Here are the other category winners:

Video/Animation Category Winner (15-17): St David’s CBS Dublin

Video/Animation Category Winner (18-21): John Carney

Video/Animation Category Winner (22-25): Ed Griffen, Playing House

* Other winning entries and runners-up can be viewed at]HERE

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