The Reality Tour Drug Prevention Program will return to Lawrence County for a second year.





The program gives students and their parents an up-close look at the reality of drug abuse and its effects on families.





In the first part, the group follows Michael, a teen on heroin, through a drug arrest, jail time, overdose, emergency room treatment and funeral.





The second half of the program provides a chance to ask questions of a law enforcement official and an addict in recovery.





The program began in 2003 in Butler County as the project of a nonprofit organization called Candle Inc.





The Hoyt Foundation provided the funding to bring the program to Lawrence County, where it debuted in New Castle last January, then toured to Ellwood City in March.





"I believe this program is so effective, because we're not just lecturing these kids with facts on why drugs are bad and reminding them to 'Just say no.' The Reality Tour provides an emotional experience," director Angela Berger said.





"Kids may not remember all the reasons why drugs are bad, or how they damage the body, but they'll remember how they felt when Michael's parents first arrived in the ER, they'll remember the funeral, and the addict-in-recovery's story."





The Reality Tour Drug Prevention Program will take place at the Lawrence County Government Center, 430 Court St., New Castle, on Aug. 29, Oct. 24 and Dec. 19 and at the Ellwood City Municipal Building, 525 Lawrence Ave., on Sept. 12 and Nov. 14.





The program runs from 6 to 9 p.m. and is designed for those 10 and older when accompanied by a parent. The cost is $5 per person.





Pre-registration is required and may be made by contacting Berger at (724) 831-8234.



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