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'Scared Straight' Program In Glassport Aims To Show Effects Of Drug Addiction

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Organizers of an event called the "Reality Tour" were hoping to get the message across that even a small amount of drugs could kill you.

The dramatization, which was held on Thursday evening in Glassport, included scenes of a drug arrest and the emergency room death of an overdose victim.

One of the program's directors, Leslie Crane, said, "We're attempting to do something, other than trying to get drug dealers off the street, because that's not working. What we're doing is trying to prevent it."

Crane added, "Everybody knows somebody who is either on heroin or something else, and [these drugs] are killing our small towns."

Glassport, in the Mon Valley, was once thriving economically, but then, hundreds of blue collar jobs vanished with the collapse of the steel industry and related jobs.

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Lori Elco, of Elizabeth, told KDKA-TV News that she lost her son, Dakota, to a heroin overdose the day after Christmas.

"Heroin is real," Elko said. "We thought [Dakota] was okay. We had no clue. Peer pressure, I believe, contributed to his death."

She paused and tearfully added, "There's nothing worse than losing a child."

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