The team reviews all deaths in Pike County from birth to 21 years old to determine ways to prevent them. The team has found that adolescent deaths directly related to drugs or alcohol have escalated in the county.
The Reality Tour Drug Prevention program was created by Norma Norris of Butler in 2003, and is now promoted through the nonprofit organization Community Awareness Network for a Drug-Free Life and Environment Inc. (CANDLE).
The program has the support of the Pike County commissioners, the Pike County District Attorney's Office, the Pike County coroner, the Shohola and Milford Police departments, Milford Ambulance Corps and numerous nonprofit and business organizations of Pike County.
The tour is recommended for children 10 and up when accompanied by a parent. Advance reservation is recommended, as space is limited. Parental consent is also required, along with a $5 suggested donation.
Participants will follow the fate of a fictitious teen addicted to heroin. The tour includes these dramatic scenes: peer pressure, an arrest and prison experience as well as dramatic emergency room overdose and funeral re-enactments.
All of these scenes are performed by community volunteers. A narrative by the "addict" precedes each one, including the reminder "I'm just like you."
The message of the Reality Tour is meant to combat the youthful belief "It can't happen to me," and to form the foundation for parent-child dialogue.
Each attendee will be given a drug abuse profile to adopt during the program so that participants can become familiar with different addictive drugs, including "gateway drugs," one that opens the door to use of another drug.
Registration forms can be found at www.realitytour.org. For more information, call Jill Gamboni at 570-296-3447.