2017 Winners Announced!

The winners of the first annual O'Brien House Essay Contest were announced on September 8th. 

First place and $1000 was awarded to Garret Byrne, a senior, at LA School for Math, Science, and the Arts. 

Second place and $300 was awarded to Anna Cattar, a freshmen, at Central High School. 

Third place and $200 was awarded to Layla Michelle Carnes, another freshman, at Central High School.

O'Brien House would like to formally congratulate all of the winners and thank them for their entries. Additionally, thanks go to the judges, Virginia Archer, Robin Blanche, and James Fox-Smith. 

Garret Byrne will read his essay at the annual breakfast, and all of the winners will be presented their awards and prizes. 

IDENTIFYING TEEN DRUG ADDICTION (from ProjectKnow.com)

During adolescence, many of the signs of drug addiction, such as mood swings or irritability, are very similar to normal teen behavior. However, NIDA states that there are questions you can ask to determine whether or not you have a drug abuse problem. While these do not conclusively indicate a drug addiction, answering “yes” to any of these questions suggest a problem is developing, and intervention may be necessary. These questions are as follows:

  1. Have you ever been a passenger in a car driven by someone who had consumed alcohol or drugs? Have you ever driven a car while after using drugs or drinking alcohol?
  2. Do you use drugs to chill out, feel good, or to fit in with your friends?
  3. Do you use drugs while on your own, with no one else around?
  4. Do you blackout or not remember things that you did while drinking or using drugs?
  5. Have family members or friends ever told you that you need to cut down on your drinking or drug use?
  6. Have you ever gotten into trouble, at school, with your family or with the law, because of drug or alcohol use?

O'Brien House expands its 2017 essay contest to include the state of Louisiana

BATON ROUGE, LA / July 12, 2017 --

Local non-profit organization, the O'Brien House, is expanding its first essay contest open to high school students to include the entire state of Louisiana. 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 or to donate, visit www.obrienhouse.org.

Press Release Re: O'Brien House Essay Contest 2017

BATON ROUGE, LA / June 12, 2017 --

Local non-profit organization, the O'Brien House, is hosting its first essay contest open to high school students in East Baton Rouge Parish. 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 will launch on June 12th, 2017 and 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, "Given the short time frame this first year, we hope this expansion will increase the number of entries. It's always been our plan to include the entire state moving forward." 

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 or to donate, visit www.obrienhouse.org.