NEWARK – The Drug Enforcement Administration-New Jersey Division (DEA) and the New York/New Jersey High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) in conjunction with the Partnership for a Drug Free New Jersey and the Governor’s Council on Alcoholism & Drug Abuse are seeking art submissions from the public for their 2nd Heroin/Opioid Art exhibit and contest.

In 2015, there were more than 52,000 accidental drug overdose deaths.  Of those, approximately 63% were directly related to heroin or prescription opioids.  Along with enforcement actions to combat this epidemic, education and awareness are vital.  The DEA held its first art contest in 2015 which was a huge success with 31 submissions from New Jersey residents ranging in age from 12–62. 

The art submissions from the first exhibit contained powerful depictions of opioid or heroin abuse, addiction, and recovery along with a written statement of the meaning of the art work. 

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Carl J. Kotowski, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA’s New Jersey Division said, “This contest and exhibit is another way to raise awareness about this epidemic that we are facing today.  We hope to duplicate the success we had with the first exhibit.” 

Angelo Valente, Executive Director of The Partnership for a Drug Free New Jersey said, “This exhibit will play a significant role in raising awareness about the toll prescription opioid and heroin addiction has had, not just on the individual, but also on the community.”

This art contest is open to all residents of New Jersey. The winner will receive a grand prize of $500 and statewide recognition. The artwork will be displayed on August 24 at the Gateway Project Spaces, 2 Gateway Center, Newark, NJ. The deadline for submission of the artwork is July 17, 2017. Entry forms can be obtained by going to http://www.drugfreenj.org/HeroinArtExhibit/. Any further questions can be answered by Demand Reduction Specialist Joanna Mlicka-Anderko, either by email: janderko@nynjhidta.org or phone: 973-776-5168.