Class of 2022 Celebrate Sober Campaign

06/17/2022

Riverhead Community Awareness Program, Inc. (CAP) is once again launching its Class of 2022 Celebrate Sober Campaign. With graduation season and summer here, CAP continues the annual public awareness campaign to encourage students to celebrate safely and avoid the risks of underage drinking and drug use. The campaign partners include Peconic Bay Medical Center (PBMC) Northwell Health, Riverhead Police Department, and local businesses.

Class of 2022 Pre-Prom Meetings

With the support of PBMC Northwell Health, Riverhead CAP returned to Riverhead High School to facilitate the mandatory Pre-Prom meetings for graduating seniors and their parents. Dr. Lincoln Cox, Chief of Emergency Medicine, talked to students and their parents about the health implications of underage drinking. He also addressed the long-term effects of substance use. Sgt. Dino Isgro and Officer Giuseppe Rosini of the Riverhead Police Department addressed the legal consequences of underage drinking and how the choices young people make can have dire results.

“Keeping our community safe and healthy is the cornerstone of Peconic Bay Medical Center’s mission,” said PBMC Executive Director Amy E. Loeb. “Helping Riverhead CAP spread awareness about the harms of underage drinking and substance abuse is the epitome of that mission in action. High school-age students are prone to partaking in risky behaviors. Teaching students about the risk factors of underage alcohol consumption and substance abuse is an essential part of prevention, and we are proud to take part in this initiative.”

While the message targeted Riverhead’s Class of 2022, the meetings also serve as a reminder that parents and the community play a vital role in preventing underage drinking. Providing alcohol to minors or allowing underage drinking not only violates the trust of other parents and the community, but it is also a violation of the law. Adults over the age of eighteen who provide alcohol or knowingly allow underage drinking in their home can be charged with a misdemeanor under the Suffolk County Social Host Law. Penalties can include fines up to $1000 and/or one year in jail.

Local Businesses support the class of 2022

Local businesses are once again joining CAP’s efforts. They’ll place 2-inch stickers on deli sandwiches, take-out bags, coffee cups, and catering orders. This year’s sticker says, “Congratulations Class of 2022. Live Your Best Life: Celebrate Sober.” CAP provides the stickers for free.

“Young people are inundated with social media, advertisements, music, and messages that glamorize substance use and encourage risky behavior,” said CAP Community Prevention Specialist, Cynthia Redmond. “While it is difficult to challenge the mass marketing of the alcohol industry, we want to remind young people that they have the ability to make healthy choices and that living a substance-free lifestyle can only help them to be successful.”

Each year, 5,000 people under the age of twenty-one die from alcohol-related causes. In addition, more than 190,000 people under twenty-one visit and emergency room for alcohol-related injuries. Alcohol is the drug most abused by teens and causes more deaths in young people than all illegal drugs combined. One-third of alcohol-related teen traffic fatalities occur between April and June, which is peak prom and graduation season.

“Through this campaign, CAP hopes the Riverhead Class of 2022 will know that the community supports their healthy choices and cares about their safety,” said  Redmond.

Businesses who are interested in participating in the Celebrate Sober Campaign should contact Cynthia Redmond at 631-727-3722 or [email protected] to order free stickers.

For additional resources, visit our Resource page here.