Art Competition Promotes Addiction Awareness

United Way of the Lower Eastern Shore, in partnership with the Wicomico County State’s Attorney Office and Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office, recently announced the 2nd Annual Lower Shore Addiction Awareness Visual Arts Competition.

The contest is open to Middle School and High School Students in Wicomico, Worcester, Somerset and Dorchester Counties.  Students must create a piece of art that expresses how drug addiction affects them personally.  The Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office is providing cash prizes generated from seized drug money for 1st, 2nd, 3rd and Honorable Mentions in each county, along with support from a United Way grant.

The contest is geared toward school-aged children as part of a community-wide effort to foster awareness and promote the risks of drug use to youth.

“We are continually working on getting resources to help the addicted, but our best hope is to reach the youth, to get them to understand the dangers of using and abusing prescription opiates and how abusing pills is a pathway to heroin use,” states Wicomico County State’s Attorney, Ella Disharoon.

She adds, “The heroin epidemic is a growing problem nationwide. In 2016 there were over 1100 heroin/opioid deaths in Maryland. In 2016 there were over 216 overdoses and 17 fatalities in our county alone. When interviewed, most of the addicted in our county tell a similar tale. The users of heroin first became addicted to prescription opiate pain medication.”

Official rules for the contest can be found at and on the United Way of the Lower Eastern Shore Facebook page.  Deadline for art submission is April 1st and winning artwork will be displayed with an awards reception at Downtown Salisbury 3rd Friday on May 19th.

 About United Way of the Lower Eastern Shore:

Now in its 73rd year, United Way of the Lower Eastern Shore continues to be the largest non-governmental source of funding for 74 critical programs in Wicomico, Worcester, Somerset and Dorchester Counties. United Way helps Eastern Shore residents obtain Educational Success by reducing the achievement gap between low and middle income students, Financial Stability by advancing the economic security of families and individuals in our community, and Good Health by improving access to and awareness of local health and wellness services. In 2016, United Way provided nearly $1.4 million to community programs and helped to change the lives of over 77,000 individuals. For more information, visit

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