Laneway Light – Beyond the Stigma

This International Overdose Awareness Day cohealth is working with the Little Projector Company to shine a light on the stigma and demonisation of drug addiction.    

From 25–31 August, in the lead up to International Overdose Awareness Day (external webpage), we’re lighting up a Melbourne city laneway with images and artworks created by people who have a lived experience of drug dependence.   

Drug dependence is a complex health and social issue, not a sign of personal or moral failure. The shame and stigma associated with drug use pushes people to the margins of society, creates barriers to seeking help, and means health issues go untreated.

‘Laneway Light – Beyond the Stigma’ enables people with a lived experience of drug use to express their point of view. The project promotes greater compassion and care for people who are drug dependent and generates conversations about health-based responses to drug use in the community.

Get involved 

If you or someone you love has a lived experience with drug use, either current or past, you’re invited to contribute. Artists can remain anonymous or be identified by name.  

You do not need any art experience. Artworks may be any medium including photos, paint, animation, writing or digital art.  

You can use an artwork you have created in the past or you can create something new. 

There are no rules to art, and your artwork can be anything, but here are some ideas:   

  • your point of view on drug stigma & judgement  
  • an abstract painting 
  • artwork in memory of someone  
  • a photo of a significant place 
  • related to recovery or relapse 
  • a nature scene, animal portrait or dreamscape 
  • a written poem

Photography tips: 

  • Take high resolution photographs of the artworks at 300dpi using a tripod (don’t worry if you can’t do this – any high-res photo is fine).
  • Any file format is fine. e.g jpg, png.
  • If you need help photographing your artwork, contact  

How to submit artwork  

Submit your artwork by taking a high-res photo of it and emailing it, along with a completed consent form (DOCX 28Kb) to   

For more information on how to contribute email  

Deadline for contributions 10 August 2022.  

Need support to get involved? 

cohealth is hosting an art workshop for people who want to be supported to create an artwork for the exhibition, or need help photographing an artwork they want to contribute.  No booking required. Drop-in anytime and stay for as little or as long as you want.

Date: Monday 1 August, 11am-3pm 

Location: Multicultural Hub, 506 Elizabeth St 

For more information email or download the Laneway Light – Art Workshop flyer (PDF 1MB).


Consent form (DOCX 28Kb)

Laneway Light – Beyond the Stigma flyer  (PDF 696KB)

Laneway Light – Art Workshop flyer (PDF 1MB)

International Overdose Awareness Day (external webpage)

About us

cohealth is a not-for-profit community health organisation. We provide essential health and support services in Melbourne’s CBD, and northern and western suburbs.

Select a location and book online

Book Online Book Online Book Online Book Online Book Online Book Online Book Online