Quote of the Week

"If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way" ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Reality Tour site at Mars Home for Youth
Posted by:Ken Sutton--Thursday, July 26, 2007

CANDLE, Inc. is pleased to announce the dates for our newest Reality Tour Drug Prevention program site at Mars Home for Youth on Route 228. www.realitytour.org
Upcoming dates are: August 9th, Sept. 13th, Oct. 11th, Nov. 8th, Dec. 13th.

The program is suitable for parents with children ages 10+. We do accept groups and you are welcome to call our reservation number 724-679-6612 to make arrangements. Registration forms are online at www.realitytour.org.

We could use a few more volunteers at this site: . . .

Call 724-679-6612 to volunteer
Group Leaders are needed and the duties are that of an 'usher'. (Teens or adults - 1x per mo. 3 hrs.)
Butler and Mars sites are looking for addicts in recovery (1 yr min.) for speaker opportunities in our Q & A session. Parents of those afflicted by addiction are welcome to volunteer as well. We have 6 active parents in our Butler programs and several have been with us since the beginning ('03), stating that working with the program empowers them in the battle against addiction.
Over 2500 Butler residents have attended the program to date. We are working with 3 schools that are dedicating a grade level to the Reality Tour experience by promoting attendance to parents. In coming years all the upper grades of these schools will have a significant percentage of students and parents that have attended the program. Surveys show the experience is long lasting. We also now accept a school's disciplinary action students on a priority basis through our at-risk access. Schools must notify CANDLE of their intent to use the at-risk access.

By the end of the year the University of Pittsburgh's School of Pharmacology will have completed their research study of the Reality Tour for submission to the national registry of evidence-based programs in '08.

We have also opened a Reality Tour site on campus at Slippery Rock University, so in Butler County there are 3 locations. Across PA 16 communities are presenting the program and 4 are pending. We hope to bridge the gap between Butler County and the Reality Tour in downtown Pittsburgh in '08 by adding more sites in communities along the Rte 79 corridor.

Please fwd this notice to anyone you like. Call if you have questions.

Norma Norris

Norma J. Norris
Executive Director
Ph: 724-679-1788

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Posted by:Lloyd Woodward--Saturday, July 21, 2007

Click above link for more...

Type rest of the post here

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New Post on Relapse Blog by Ed A.
Posted by:Lloyd Woodward--Saturday, July 21, 2007

Click the link above to go to Sister-PSST Blog on Relapse Issues.

Type rest of the post here

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Rules of the Road
Posted by:Ken Sutton--Thursday, July 19, 2007

My child has returned home recently from a 1 month rehab and 4 month stay at a halfway house. As a condition of returning home I suggested some changes to the baseline Conditions of Supervision that the probation officer (Lloyd) usually uses. We reviewed and adjusted the rules together to get to this final document before it was presented to my child. Names and specifics have been changed.

A lot of these changes were gleaned from other professionals and parents over the years who have shared their wisdom.

I have used a planning methodology called SMART in the past. It was an acronym for Specific Measurable Attainable Realistic Timely. I tried to apply these principals to all of the goals.

One of my favorite quotes is "Men plan, God laughs". I have annotated the rules so you can see how it is going so far.
These conditions of supervision my be amended at the discretion of the Probation Officer. We are expecting changes to be made in the short term (this leaves the door open if you forget anything)

1) Obey all laws.
2) Do not leave Allegheny County without the permission of the probation officer. Exception: in the company of his parents or with parents permission to a border county.

3) Advise the probation officer IMMEDIATELY of any change in address or telephone number.
4) Do NOT possess or employ firearms, fireworks, weapons, or other instruments of crime.
5) Adhere to the following curfew: 24 hour house arrest until further notice. Travel only with parents.

6) No driving until further notice. (this one is tough, it takes a lot of driving to support all of meetings and therapy and the house arresst means no rides from friends to meetings. It does help in establishing the goal of what do you need to do to get a car)

7) Socialize only with peers that the parents and Probation Officer approve of and DO NOT socialize with those that are known to use illegal substances or those who are known to commit crime. No phone, letters, email, IM, facebook, myspace messages or face-to-face with unapproved peers. Unapproved peers include but are not limited to: LIST UNAPPROVED PEERS HERE.

a) Males-until further notice (this one is very difficult to enforce - in discussions with the PO we decided to drop it after two weeks)
b) L
c) C
d) S

8) Call sponsor every day during the first phase of Probation; call other recovering peers each day; join a Home Group and attend Home Group Meetings.

9) Make contact with the Probation Officer daily including holidays and weekends via phone. Report to the probation officer as directed and agree that the probation officer may visit at any time.

10) Notify the probation officer within forty-eight hours of being questioned or arrested by a law enforcement officer.


12) Do not possess or consume alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, or any other illegal drugs.

13) Submit to random Drug & Alcohol Urinalysis or saliva testing by parents or Probation Officer.

14) Submit to search by Probation Officer or parents if requested.

15) Complete community service at the mission trip 7/23-7/27.

16) Attend at least one recover related activity per day. Attend 12 step meetings from Prayer to Prayer.

17) Follow all discharge recommendations of

18) Make sure that a parent approves of all activities and plans. There should be no unapproved or unaccounted for time. Treat Parents with respect.

19) Accomplish the following educational and/ or vocational goals: to be determined

20) Complete a D&A Intensive Outpatient Counseling Program:

21) Enroll in and participate in an therapy or counseling approved by Probation Officer and Parents. Develop a written plan by 8/7/07 and review that plan with your support team. (this was designed to make sure they own their own health issues)

22) Attend one church service on a weekly basis at .

23) Establish a workout plan and visit the gym minimum 3 times per week.

24) Attend the drama workshops on Thursday night at .

25) Cell phone is only to be used for recover activities. Do not erase phone numbers from phone memory. Do not accept restricted calls. Provide phone to be reviewed when requested. Leave phone on kitchen table at night.

26) Do not use the house phone.

27) Do not use the Internet.

28) Asleep by midnight and up by 8 AM or as needed to make recovery commitments.

29) Make and keep all Dr. appointments. Take care of health needs.

30) Keep a day timer of daily commitments.

31) Move property from halfway house to home by 7/15

32) Assist with moving to upstairs bedroom. By 7/23

(these two were included so the child could own all of the responsibility of moving back home. This worked well - it gave a great focus for the first two weeks)

33) Help with weekly house chores and home repair projects as needed.

34) Keep your room neat and do your own wash.

35) Your are not to have more than $10 cash on you at any time.

36) Any cash you receive is to be transferred to your parent’s custody.

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July 14th Meeting at Alliance Office (Parent Empowerment!)
Posted by:Lloyd Woodward--Sunday, July 15, 2007

This meeting started at 9:05, pretty early for us, and by 9:10 we had 11 parents present. This was a great meeting- thanks everyone who showed up to help us out.

We took a break at 10:25 and we came back at 10:40 for a couple of versions of one role-play. We ran a bit over and ended out meeting at 11:45.

The focus of the meeting was empowerment of parents who are working with Probation Officers. Parents who share the blame with, or in some cases just assume the blame, get the power.

Only guilty people are effective. What are we guilty of? As parents, especially PSST parents, we are guilty of stopping at nothing to insure that our kids are given another day clean; we are guilty of going the last and extra last mile to see that our kids are supervised, especially when we can't supervise them ourselves. We are guilty of using every tool at our disposal, including when possible, the Juvenile Probation system to give our teens another day drug-free, guilty of changing our minds when we see that we made a mistake; guilty of "snitchin" to the PO, the school, the counselor, the teen's other parent, the other teens parents, the police, etc., all because we have come to believe that secrets keep us sick. We are guilty of working harder on our teen's recovery than he works on his own; guilty of enabling our teen from the consequences of his own decisions and guilty of no longer enabling him from the consequences of his own decisions even though he has come to expect that from us.

Yes, the teens are correct when they blame us. We send them to boot camp. We send them to The Academy sanction unit. We take thier cell phones. We take thier driving privellegeds away. We stand up in Court and ask the Judge to place our teen in the longest or most effective program and when our teen says, "you put me away!" we can say "yes, I had a lot to do with it."

We are guilty of loving our kids and being willing to fight this disease with every weapon at our disposal. Yes, we admit that. Let's move on.

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