Five New York State students win drug essay contest

Contact: Communications Dept., 212-595-5810, ext. 7854

For Immediate Release

Five New York State Students Win Drug Awareness Essay Contest

(New York, March 17) — Three students from Long Island are among five statewide winners of $2,500 educational bonds in a drug awareness essay contest sponsored by Bristol-Myers-Squibb, Genovese drug stores and the American Council for Drug Education, an affiliate of Phoenix House.

The contest awarded College scholarship bonds in five separate age categories between 6 and 18 based on 100-200 word responses to the question: “Why You Feel It Is important To Stay In School and Say No To Alcohol And Drugs.”

“We were extremely pleased with the results of the contest, both as an educational program and as a drug prevention initiative,” said Kevin McEneaney, Executive Vice President of Phoenix House. “The response was excellent, and the essays showed that in writing their essays the youngsters studied and reflected on the dangers of drugs.”

According to Steve Mistretta, Director of Customer Marketing for Bristol-Myers-Squibb: “The contest successfully promoted the closely related themes of drug prevention and education. Drug abuse can be a factor which interferes with educational goals of youngsters. Working with Phoenix House and Genovese, we developed the contest as a way to help students understand the importance of education and avoiding drugs.”

The winners were:

1) Adrienne Patricia LeGrier, 6, Clara H. Carlson School, Elmont, Nassau County;

2) Emily Mulrooney, 9, of Lyncourt Elementary School, Syracuse, NY;

3) Christian O’Connor, 14, Junior High School 168, Flushing, Queens;

4) Annemegan Brown, 16, Mount Sinai High School, Mount Sinai, Suffolk County;

5) Crystal M. Cannarano, 17, Carey High School, Franklin Square, Nassau County.

Common themes in the essays included the loss of control, false sense of euphoria and wasted opportunities caused by drug abuse. As Crystal Cannarano wrote: “You have the energy of 20 men but find yourself laying on your bed listening to music on the head phones while other kids are in math class. Isn’t it great — no homework, no classes, no teachers and no future. What a waste of someone who had so much to offer.”

Founded in 1977, the American Council for Drug Education (ACDE) produces and distributes a wide range of scientifically based drug education and prevention materials for schools, the workplace, and the general public. ACDE reaches hundreds of thousands of people annually through print, broadcast media and film The Council operates a 24-hour, toll-free confidential drug help and referral service 1-800-DRUG-HELP.

Since 1995, ACDE has been an affiliate of Phoenix House, the nation’s leading non-profit substance abuse service organization. Phoenix House treats more than 3,300 adolescents and adults in outpatient and residential programs in New York, California, Texas and Florida. Founded in 1967, Phoenix House has treated more than 75,000 people — saving lives and strengthening families and communities. To learn more, visit

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