Reality Tour is a researched prevention program created out of a need in Butler, PA in 2003 as a way to address the heroin epidemic through education. While the program has been continually updated over 17 years to include emerging drug trends, the mission under the guidance of the 501c3 nonprofit Community Action Network for Drug-free Lifestyle Empowerment (CANDLE) remains. A big part of this mission is to educate parents and children together before there is substance abuse experimentation, provide regularly scheduled and accessible prevention experiences, and to partner with schools and institutions to meet prevention needs. The program’s components have been carefully crafted to accommodate a variety of learning styles using a multi-media approach.
To maintain excellence CANDLE, Inc. engaged the University of Pittsburgh to conduct a study on the effectiveness of the Reality Tour program. The study was presented to the federal government’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration which accepted Reality Tour as evidence-based in 2008. CANDLE’s Reality Tour has won the national ‘Acts of Caring Award’, regionally was a finalist for the ‘Healthcare Heroes’ award, and has been featured on PBS-WQED.