PA Needs Prevention for All Families

Recent points were  raised with PA’s DDAP on the lack of prevention for families in the general public.  CANDLE is suggesting the state must broaden their scope. Presently only 12 PA communities receive the state’s  preferred family prevention 7 week program.  Only 15 families attend at a time and the program does not talk about drugs. The sessions start with a meal, followed by a video and then discussion. Many families do not attend all 7 sessions – 50% attendance is considered acceptable. (So which sessions really work?). Published costs per person show $2,000 each.

Recently, a researcher with some interest in Reality Tour suggested that nothing has been developed in universal prevention under the duress of an epidemic and that the ‘status quo’ criteria and programs of prior eras should not be imposed or assumed to be as effective. The increasing availability of drugs  changes everything. It was revealed that researchers prefer small contained groups for ease of data collection – making it unlikely that new programs are in the works for the general public.

In a conversation with Dr. Dennis Embry, he brought up the little known fact that nothing in prevention was as successful as the PRIDE Graph Parent Movement and the impact on marijuana use. The Parent Movement is rarely mentioned in the history of prevention research and certainly not modeled in prevention development at the university level.  

An advisor to CANDLE spoke with Dr. Thomas J. “Buddy” Gleaton the originator of the Parent Movement Graphic who noted that the PRIDE Parent Movement ended in 1992 when federal funding of the program ended.  The graph link provided shows the immediate upswing in marijuana use after the end of funding. Dr. Gleaton kindly furnished updates.

Dr. Embry introduced another point to consider: The most researched prevention program – when reaching few people from a total population- is not as effective as a lesser researched program when that program reaches large numbers of people in a given population.  PA has 1.1 million families with middle school age children.

Along those lines Public Health Law and Ethics is a topic of new interest. A consideration is that the concern is for the health of populations not individuals. 

We remain hopeful that PA will no longer withhold vital prevention information from 1.1 million+ parents/children and their children.  CANDLE’s Reality Tour has reached  35,000 in PA – all who attended on their own because they thought it was important. The numbers would be far lower if parents hadn’t also urged friends and family to attend. What has developed is a grassroots prevention movement – a movement away from the status quo.  Communities no longer have to wait for the best program to be ‘bestowed’ on them with a hefty price tag.  Reality Tour empowers communities to ‘take care of their own’.

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