Reality Tour Returns to Port Jervis to Make Second Showing in NYS

Tour Promotes Conversation Between Children and Parents About Risks of Drug Use, Addiction, and Prevention

PORT JERVIS – Operation PJ Pride, a community collaborative for which Catholic Charities serves as the lead agency, will be joining with the Port Jervis Police Department, Orange County District Attorney’s Office, Port Jervis Neighborhood Watch, and the Brittney Schuppe Family, to once again bring the addiction prevention program Reality Tour to Port Jervis on May 1.

This is only the second time the evidence-based program focused on addressing the heroin crisis in communities has been offered anywhere in New York State. The Reality Tour’s January premiere in Port Jervis was met with such overwhelming response and support that the group worked to bring it back in May. The Tour is funded by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office in response to a proposal request from the Port Jervis Neighborhood Watch, chaired by Niki Jones.

“Education, treatment, and enforcement are the pillars of our strategy to address the opioid epidemic in Orange County,” said District Attorney David M. Hoovler. “The Reality Tour is a valuable component of the education piece of that strategy to help educate people about the dangers of drug abuse.”

The Reality Tour Drug Prevention Program is a national project of the non-profit organization CANDLE, Inc., based in Butler, PA, created in 2003, and has been replicated in other communities in the United States and Canada. The Reality Tour provides an opportunity to start a conversation between parents and children about the dangers of drugs and the benefits of a drug-free lifestyle by involving participants in a dramatization of drug use, addiction, and overdose. The dramatic “walk in the life and death of a teen on drugs,” is followed by a coping and life-skills session with a goal of developing a family plan of action. Law enforcement officials, prevention professionals, and an individual in recovery will also be on hand to answer questions.

The Tour is recommended for youth ages 10 and up, who must be accompanied by a parent.
Participants will follow the fate of a fictitious teen addicted to drugs. The Tour includes an arrest and prison experience, as well as an Emergency Room overdose scene and a mock funeral. A narrative by the “addict” precedes each scene and includes the constant reminder to the audience that, “Once I was just like you.” Each attendee will be given a drug abuse profile to adopt during the program, so that participants can become familiar with different addictive drugs, as well as gateway drugs.

“Operation PJ PRIDE is proud to be the first community coalition in New York to host the Reality Tour. This evidence-based program is needed in every community to make sure both parents and youth are on the same page regarding the dangers of substance abuse,” said Megan Robbins, Operation PJ Pride Coordinator and Catholic Charities employee. “This event truly takes a village and would not be possible without this incredible collaboration of community organizations. Youth in every community face countless pressure – our goal is to illustrate the reality of how quickly drugs can take over their lives,” added Robbins.

The Reality Tour is free, but reservations are required for planning purposes. To make a reservation, contact or call Megan Robbins at 845-856-6344 x29.


WHAT:             Reality Tour – Addiction Prevention Program for youth and parents
WHEN:             Wednesday, May 1, 6 – 8:30 pm
WHERE:         Port Jervis City Hall, 20 Hammond Street, Port Jervis
WHY:               Reality Tour is a community-based drug prevention event to engage youth and
their parents and promote conversation in an effort to combat the heroin crisis in
the community.
FREE – Reservations Required
Contact – Megan Robbins at 845-856-6344 x29 or

Port Jervis residency is not a requirement for attendance.

WHO:              Hosted by Operation PJ Pride, Port Jervis Police Department, Orange County
District Attorney’s Office, Port Jervis Neighborhood Watch, and the
Brittney Schuppe Family