An upcoming event aims to provoke conversation between parents and their children about the dangers and realities of drug abuse.

The Reality Tour Parent/Child Drug Prevention Experience will be held Tuesday, March 19th, at the Livingston County EMS building located on Tooley Road in Howell. The event is being hosted by Wake Up Livingston; a coalition of community members with the common goal of eradicating opiate overdose in Livingston County.

The Reality Tour is a national Drug Prevention Program project created to combat the opiate crisis. It is now an evidence-based program that has been replicated in communities in several states and in Canada. Facilitator Kristal Reyes says WUL purchased the Reality Tour Program for use in Livingston County and is offering the experience at no cost to community members.

Participants follow the fate of a fictitious teen addicted to drugs. The tour includes a student-led dramatic skit accompanied by a narrative that reminds the audience that the teen used to be just like them. Each attendee will be given a drug abuse profile to adopt during the program and participants will have an opportunity to ask questions of local law enforcement and a recovery advocate. Families will be offered information on how to talk to youth about substance use and abuse. Attendees will also be given the opportunity to commit to a drug-free life by placing their handprint on the Reality Tour banner.

Reyes says WUL wanted to host an experience unlike any other that combines prevention and intervention in order to encourage parents to begin the conversation about drug abuse early on in their child's life. She says the Reality Tour began with a focus on opioids; however the session will address other drug consumption, including vaping.

The tour is recommended for children ages 10 and up when accompanied by their parent. Organizers say advanced reservation is necessary, as space is limited. A link to register and more information is attached below. (DK)