Concerned Parents Take Children On ‘Reality Tour’
MILFORD — It starts with peer pressure, leads to crime, and tragically ends in death for many who get caught up in the epidemic. Parents and children got a dramatic reenactment of that deadly cycle caused by drug addiction on the “Reality Tour,” a recurring program presented by the Pike County Child Death Review Team.
The tour, held at the Milford Bible Church on April 23, led attendees through common scenarios of substance abuse: a drug dealer convincing peers to party, an arrest and imprisonment, a fatal overdose on prescription pills, and a funeral service led by a heart-broken mother.
“One death is too many,” said Jill Gamboni, Reality Tour Director, who stated that Pennsylvania ranks number three in the nation for heroin use, behind California and Illinois. Stopping the drug epidemic starts with parent involvement, she explained, and asked for a round of applause to all parents who brought their children to the event. “You’re the real heroes today.”
She recommended open communication between parents and their kids, and stressed that parents keep an eye on their child’s behavior. Boredom can often lead to risky activities, Gamboni explained, so involvement in a child’s life is key. Get to know your children’s friends and parents, have a code word for the phone if your kid is in a troubling situation, and simply have sit-down meals and conversations with your family.
Gamboni added that a child can be involved in drugs for an average of two years before a parent finds out, and the county is discovering some children using drugs or alcohol as young as eight years old. The tour was followed by a line-up of speakers including Shohola Police Chief Don Roa, who explained that if you have suspicions that your child is on drugs, do what you must to find out.
“You don’t need a search warrant if it’s your house,” said Roa.
District Attorney Ray Tonkin echoed that sentiment in regards to cell phones, saying, “If you pay the bill, then it’s your phone.”
Pike County Coroner Kevin Stroyan expressed his happiness seeing so many parents being proactive in their families’ well being. He stated that many think that addiction and its consequences cannot happen to them, but his own personal tragedy of losing a son to drugs proves otherwise... for complete story get this week' s issue.