Evidence-Based Drug-Abuse-Reduction Program Brought to Port Jervis
Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler, Port Jervis Police Chief William Worden, and representatives of the City of Port Jervis Neighborhood Watch and Operation P.J. PRIDE, on Wednesday, September 27, 2017, announced the launch of Reality Tour in Port Jervis. The announcement came at a press conference held in the Port Jervis City Council Chamber in City Hall on Wednesday afternoon.
At the event, District Attorney Hoovler provided Operation P.J. PRIDE, the City’s anti-drug coalition, with a check for $3,500.00, the District Attorney’s Office’s contribution to the program, which represents the initial licensing fee for the program. Catholic Charities Community Services of Orange and Sullivan Counties has agreed to provide additional funding to keep the program operating on an annual basis. The program was brought to the attention of the District Attorney by Neighborhood Watch Chair Niki Jones, who saw its effectiveness in neighboring Pike County, Pennsylvania.
Reality Tour is an evidence-based program designed to help prevent substance abuse among young people. The program involves a series of vignettes illustrating the consequences of substance abuse, and brings in children and their parents as the target audience. Reality Tour was developed by CANDLE, Inc., and has been recognized by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration as suitable for inclusion in its nationwide register of evidence-based programs that are effective in reducing substance abuse.
“It’s no secret that we are in the grip of a nationwide opiate-abuse epidemic,” said District Attorney Hoovler, “and the Port Jervis area has by no means been immune to that epidemic. People are dying every day, and it is our duty to do everything we can to prevent those deaths. The solution will require a concerted effort from educators, treatment providers, and law enforcement. I hope that Reality Tour plays an important role in the educational piece of those efforts, and I am proud to be part of it.”
“Reality Tour is an evidence-based drug prevention program that uses dramatic scenes, instruction, and testimonials to educate both parents and their children with its drug-free message,” said William Worden, City of Port Jervis Police Chief. “Bringing this valuable prevention education program to our community is evidence of the success and importance of community-based collaborations in working together to be part of the solution and improve the quality of life for our community.”
“Port Jervis Citywide Neighborhood Watch is pleased to have written the proposal to secure funds from the Orange County District Attorney’s Office to bring Realty Tour to the City of Port Jervis”, said Niki Jones, Neighborhood Watch Chair. “A program like this is exactly what is needed to address the ongoing heroin epidemic in our community. We appreciate David Hoovler’s unwavering support and belief in our City.”
“Operation P.J. PRIDE looks forward to providing this program to the parents and youth of the Port Jervis community,” said Lindsay Carroll, the Project coordinator for Operation P.J. PRIDE. “Reality Tour is such an important program that brings light to some of the potential collateral damage that can stem from experimentation with drugs and alcohol, specifically those that parents and young people may not be aware of. We are so thankful for the continued support and collaboration Operation P.J. PRIDE receives from the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.”