By MARK WOODSON
The New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (NYS OASAS) today announced the launch of the latest phase of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Talk2Prevent education campaign, an initiative focused on preventing underage and binge drinking and illicit drug use ahead of prom and graduation season. The statewide campaign includes a new radio public service announcement and digital ads urging parents to have regular discussions about alcohol and drug use and the importance of making a plan with their child on how to exit situations involving drinking or drug use.
“Graduation and prom are major milestones for students and their families, and they should be happy occasions,” said NYS OASAS Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez, who was at Riverhead High School in Riverhead, Long Island today to officially launch the Talk2Prevent campaign. “These celebrations can have lethal consequences if they involve alcohol or drugs. This campaign urges parents and guardians to have open, regular discussions, in advance of these milestone events, so that our young people know just how dangerous these substances can be and they can do their part to keep themselves and their friends safe during this time of year.”
The new Talk2Prevent Radio PSA will also play on Spanish radio stations. The campaign also includes coffee sleeves that remind parents and adults to talk with teens about underage drinking and substance use. These will be distributed at select coffee shops in areas with high admission rates for young people seeking alcohol addiction treatment. Placemats with the same message will be displayed at select restaurants in those same areas. Posters that say, “The way you talk to your child becomes their inner voice” and that “alcohol and drugs have no place in a healthy childhood,” are available on the Talk2Prevent website for downloading and use in schools and communities.
The Talk2Prevent website also includes 10 examples of effective pre-prom and graduation prevention strategies that local schools and communities have used to help keep young people alcohol- and drug-free at these events. On the website, prevention providers and schools around the state share the creative and unique drug and alcohol prevention strategies that can be replicated at other schools and in other communities. Riverhead High School’s pre-prom activities, including busing students to the prom and hosting a red carpet picture taking event, were held up at the event today as great examples of community involvement in keeping kids safe.
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