Helping Parents Make Better Decisions
CANDLE 'Safe Celebrations' Campaign Raises Awareness About Alcohol & Substance Abuse

CANDLE 'Safe Celebrations' Campaign Raises Awareness About Alcohol & Substance Abuse

Prom season is around the corner and teens will once again be making decisions as to how they will participate in the event, which can last for an evening or an entire weekend.

Community Awareness Network for a Drug-Free Life and Environment, Inc. (CANDLE) of Rockland County, is sponsoring a parent awareness campaign for the third year in a row encouraging parents to talk to their teens about their plans and to remind them to celebrate these milestones in a safe and healthy way. 

CANDLE’s goal is to raise awareness among parents about the importance of talking to their teens all year long, but especially during prom and graduation season. It’s vitally important that parents talk about the risks and consequences associated with drugs and alcohol to ensure teens have a safe and positive experience. In June of 2016, CANDLE surveyed 225 high school students between the ages of 14 and 18 in Rockland County and found that 70 percent of students said they have friends their age that drink alcohol more than once a month and 43 percent acknowledged that they have friends who have purchased alcohol using a fake ID.

“In 2016, we partnered successfully with several local pizzerias on a parent awareness campaign around prom/graduation time. We asked the restaurant owners from each community to tape flyers to the tops of pizza boxes. The message encouraged parents to talk to their kids about their plans for prom and graduation with the goal of encouraging positive behaviors,” says Annie Scott, program director for CANDLE based in New City.

The program will again be implemented this year through June and will also take place in October around Homecoming. Participating restaurants include Pizza City (Pearl River), Little Caesars (Spring Valley), Papa John’s (Ramapo), Calabria (Blauvelt), Rocco’s and Calabria (New City), Cicero’s (Bardonia), Amici’s (Nyack), Nicky’s (Suffern), Posa Posa (Nanuet), Calabria, and OIP (Haverstraw). Scott advises asking parents to talk to their teens about their plans for the evening or the weekend, speak to the driver to ensure an alcohol and drug free ride, and discussing the event once they return home. Parents can also offer to be designated drivers for the evening.

“Whether they realize it or not, parents are the number one influence in their children’s lives and have the ability to help them make healthy, smart choices,” says Scott.

For more information on the campaign, visit

Community Awareness Network For A Drug-Free Life And Environment, Inc. (CANDLE) was founded as a non-profit organization in 1982. Its mission is to prevent substance abuse and violence among youth. CANDLE's goal is to improve the health and climate of our schools and our communities by providing prevention education and resistance strategies to youth and their adult allies, and support programs for young people at risk.

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