Center for Prevention and Counseling looks toward the future

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:13

    NEWTON-Over the past 30 years, a lot of pain has been felt within the walls of the Center for Prevention and Counseling. However, by offering programs that help Sussex County residents deal with drug and alcohol problems, along with a host of additional services, it has also been home to an equal amount of joy. On June 7, the center held a 30th anniversary celebration and open house at its new location on Spring Street in Newton. County and state dignitaries, as well as program benefactors and their families showed up to offer their support as the CFPC looks toward the future. Just before a ribbon cutting ceremony, Drew Cranisky, a local high school student, addressed the crowd. Cranisky explained that he had gone to his prom a few weeks prior. He added that when all of his friends were going to the shore afterwards, he was not invited because they all knew that he did not drink alcohol. "If missing the occasional trip to the shore is what I have to do to remain alcohol free, it is a small price to pay," said Cranisky. His remarks were met with a thunderous roar of applause from the crowd. Cranisky is not the only teenager to have those types of beliefs. Although she was unable to attend the open house, 19-year-old Lake Hopatcong resident Lauren Rachel has been actively involved the Center for Prevention and Counseling for the past five years. While many other teens her age are using alcohol, tobacco and even drugs, Rachel spends her time trying to raise awareness about the dangers these substances pose. Leading such programs as DEFY (Drug Education for Youth) and REBEL (Reaching Everyone By Exposing Lies), she remains dedicated to reducing the number of county youths who smoke, and raising awareness to the dangers of drinking and driving. "I love doing it," said Rachel. "There's a lot more to life than drinking." Although she grew up in a household were nobody did drugs or drank, she witnessed at "a young age" that many of her friends and their families did. "Back then, it was the only thing for my friends to do, so it was always about drinking and doing drugs," said Rachel. "I'm into the arts, so I always thought that a good time was going over to someone's house and painting." Rachel added that it is important for people who drink and do drugs to know that there is a place they can go if they want to take control of their lives. The CFPC originally started in 1973 solely as a preventive program for alcohol abuse. However, it has grown substantially over the years to include new services. Clubs, activities, martial arts, and AIDS awareness are all part of its curriculum.