What started out as a problem-solving idea for my community to address the influx of heroin on our streets in 2003, is now an evidence-based prevention program impacting over 55,000 parents and children.
It was the voice of parents at town meetings and forums that helped design Reality Tour. Parents wanted a prevention program they could attend with their child to learn about the risks together. In 2003, no such program existed. The task at hand was to develop a parent/child program to relate the risks and consequences of drug misuse and offer ways to avoid experimentation. It had to be interactive, engaging and up to date on drug trends.
Reality Tour began with narrated scenes showing the consequences, interactive coping skills and hearing from youth in recovery to show addiction can happen to anyone. The response from parents was immediate and soon there was a 3-month wait to attend. Because of extensive TV news coverage, other communities were asking how they could start this program. The 501c3 nonprofit organization Community Action Network for Drugfree Lifestyle Empowerment (CANDLE, Inc) was formed.
By 2007, with Reality Tours now in other states, the need to reach evidence-based status was a priority. Through a research grant, a study conducted by the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy resulted in acceptance to SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP)
Over the years, Reality Tour has evolved into an easy to replicate, sustainable prevention system with a common sense approach. Finally, communities have a way to ‘take care of their own’ when it comes to prevention.
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Press & News Articles
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By Jeremy Sellew What began as a run-of-the-mill school board meeting quickly turned into a heart-wrenching plea from parents asking the district to do more to fight the growing drug epidemic throughout the community. After hearing about a school district plan to create its own drug summit proposal, a standing-room-only crowd of parents urged the … Read more
By Madeline Izzo, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette The Butler County founder of an interactive drug-abuse prevention program has been asked to bring her program to Kansas City, Mo., for some national exposure. Norma Norris, director of Candle Inc., which stands for Community Action Network for Drug-Free Lifestyle Empowerment, has been invited to be a presenter at the … Read more
“Reality Tour” Exposes Teens to Reality of Substance Abuse – Behavioral Health Central – February 19, 2010
By Dennis Miller, BHC Senior Writer Classroom lectures, assembly-hall speeches and informational brochures can give teens the facts on drug and alcohol use, but fall short of offering a direct, realistic and emotional experience of drug abuse’s often devastating consequences. The interactive educational experience called Reality Tour® is designed to add that element to drug … Read more
A Taste of Pittsburgh Magazine Online Source. In 2000 when heroin made headlines in Butler, PA there weren’t any prevention programs to help parents. Since 2003 a grassroots parent/child interactive program called Reality Tour has filled that gap. You may have never heard of it because the small non-profit CANDLE, Inc. (Community Action for Drug-free … Read more
PUBLISHED IN THE KITTANNING PAPER; www.kittanningpaper.com categories Regional News | KP NewsDesk October 22, 2015 Community Action Network for Drug-free Lifestyle Empowerment, Inc. (CANDLE, Inc.), the 501c3 Butler based non-profit that started the original, grassroots Reality Tour Drug Prevention Program back in 2003, has received a $340 donation from the USX Federal Credit Union in … Read more
By John Enrietto Eagle Sports Editor The Karns City High School football team made history Monday night (August 18) — and it had nothing to do with touchdowns or championships. The Gremlins became the first complete athletic team from Butler County to attend the Reality Tour Drug Prevention Program offered by non-profit organization CANDLE, Inc., … Read more
Posted on Oct 25, 2014 by RICK KAZMER Daily American City Editor email@example.com A drug prevention program coming to Somerset County will show the step-by-step path of addiction — including the worst possible outcome — with a goal to keep families from realizing the nightmare. The Reality Tour’s focus is prevention, however, not scare tactics, … Read more
TribLIVE – October, 2, 2014 By Greg Reinbold The Blairsville Support Group Against Drugs will be collaborating with the Armstrong-Indiana-Clarion Drug and Alcohol Commission to bring members of the community face-to-face with the realities of drug addiction. Beginning Oct. 15, the Blairsville support group will operate the Candle, Inc. Reality Tour program under the Drug and … Read more
John Enrietto, sports editor of the Butler Eagle–Column from Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014 The statistics are staggering. Hearing them is like receiving a sudden slap in the face. It wakes you up. Forty-eight percent of all high school seniors will have at least tried an illicit drug by the time they graduate. Eleven percent of … Read more