The mission of Reality Tour continues with the support of those who present the program, volunteer for it and those who attend.
Science is important in prevention and CANDLE has aspired to include research as our resources have allowed. The need to educate more parents and respond to communities wanting to start Reality Tour however takes precedence. Science is not just for those being unfairly criticized, it is also for those who judge. We heard back from DDAP’s Secretary Gary Tennis that he has agreed to participate in a January 28th teleconference with our Service to Science researcher. In the ‘Update’ link you can see the DDAP review protocols that were supposed to take place as well as the actual (quite different) review process used.
The best possible outcome for this turn of events is for collaboration to replace dissension.
It would seem that the state would be interested in why so many people are willing to give up 3 hours of their evening to attend Reality Tour and recommend it to others. Finding out what program people will attend and why should be the state’s first order of business. Containing 15 families in small multi-session groups works well for collecting data – that much is proven – maybe that small group will form an allegiance to the presenters of the program and its outcomes simply because of the time they have invested.
Pennsylvania is the 6th most populous state in the nation with over 12 million people. A population level approach is necessary. Prevention science in the face of an epidemic is what is needed. To do that science must explore marketing principles and pair them with effective programs that serve the masses and attract participants. The state must be ready to accept that those programs may not look like programs from 30 years ago!
Government must invest not just in outcomes from the past but question how those outcomes bear scrutiny in the face of an epidemic. We are more than a decade into the substance abuse epidemic with no clear direction to reach the masses. Where there is a gap someone will try to fill it. You can’t blame grassroots for trying to save lives and fill the gap in prevention with Reality Tour’s common sense approach.