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Reality: A New Approach to Youth Drug Prevention

Drug Education and Prevention That Reveals Consequences

On November 15, 2010, Reality Tour, Beaver County brought its distinctive approach to drug awareness and prevention to the former Mt. Gallitzin School in Baden.  This new venue at 1016 State Street provided a perfect atmosphere for the tour’s unique brand of drug education and prevention that reveals consequences of risky current trends, substance abuse, and ways to improve effective communication between children and their parents.  These poignant messages were hardly lost on the attendees who enthusiastically voiced their impressions of the presentation. 

In spite of being all too aware of the prominence of drugs in our society and being familiar with a number of substances and their effects, children of various ages and adults found themselves affected by the intense arrest, ER, and funeral scenes. When asked if they would recommend the tour to friends, a majority of kids responded that they would, simply because there was so much more to learn about substance abuse and the irrevocable consequences. They referred to The Reality Tour as “an eye-opening experience,” and thought it would be essential for friends who “needed serious help” getting off drugs.  One 12-year-old attendee even stated that he felt the volunteers who make the Reality Tour happen “are real heroes.”  

Parents were impressed by the impact the more disturbing scenes had on their kids and remarked that the acting was incredibly convincing.  More importantly, both parents and their kids felt “more programs like this,” would prove beneficial in combating drug and alcohol abuse in their communities.  Parents were additionally struck by how early kids are starting to experiment with drugs and appreciated The Reality Tour making them aware of how soon they need to get involved in educating their children about substance and alcohol abuse.  One concerned parent wrote, “kids10-12 need to see this.”  Parents also assumed a larger sense of accountability after attending, one promising to look more closely at the child’s friends and “step up all” the parenting skills mentioned in the presentation.  

Possibly the most telling statistic to come from the November 2010 presentation is that parents were asked to list a dollar value for their Reality Tour experience. A resounding 72% answered with a single word. “Priceless.” 

Future dates for Reality Tour are Monday, March 7 and Monday, May 16.  Space is limited and registration is required (the $5 per person registration fee can be waived upon request).  The single-evening program is designed for youth aged 10 and up, and a parent.  Reality Tour is produced by Community Health Challenge (CHC), on behalf of Beaver County Behavioral Health.  For more information, contact CHC at724-283-9955 or download a registration form at www.communityhealthchallenge.org

The Reality Tour® Drug Prevention Program is a national project of CANDLE, INC. www.RealityTour.org 

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