The Western Region Alcohol and Drug Centre is launching a short story competition to showcase recovery from addiction.
The competition is open for friends, families and supportive community members to write short stories with the focus on recovery from alcohol and other drugs and to highlight the message that treatment works.
Prize money of $2500 will be on offer and the winning stories will be published on WRAD's new website, newsletter and highlighted excerpts in the local media.
Warrnambool-based author Paul Jennings will be patron and judge of the competition.
Mr Jennings said he supported the work of WRAD in helping people to deal with alcohol and other drug-related issues.
"Sharing these stories is a way of stimulating discussion in the community and to show there is a road to recovery," Mr Jennings said.
WRAD Director Geoff Soma said the competition was an opportunity for people to use their perspective to generate discussion and understanding about addiction issues.
"Discussing addiction helps to destigmatise the problems and to show others that it is a health issue that could afflict anyone in the community.
"We hope this competition inspires people to address their problems," he said.
"Often people affected by addiction don't ask for help because they feel stigma and shame; this needs to change."
The stories have a 1000-word limit. The competition starts March 19 and entries must be lodged by April 30.
The first prize will be $1200, second $650, third $400 and $250 for a Paul Jennings special award.
In a separate initiative, WRAD will be compiling a special publication telling the personal stories of clients who have recovered from addiction after treatment.
Have you signed up to The Standard's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in the south-west.