The Church published a year-in-review story on the Scientology anti-drug campaign. It bears repeating. It is such a serious issue, but the good news is it can be addressed effectively.
Scientology Churches joined forces with like-minded groups and individuals in 2011, reaching more than 100 million people with factual information on drugs.
The need for effective drug prevention has never been more urgent. Some 210 million people internationally consume illegal drugs—more than the populations of California, New York, the United Kingdom, Italy and Australia combined. Almost 200,000 die of drugs annually, according to the United Nations World Drug Report. In the United States, more high school students now smoke marijuana than cigarettes. Every 12 seconds, another school-age child experiments with illicit drugs for the first time, and every year, youth are exposed to these dangerous substances at younger ages.
In 2011, the Church sponsored production and distribution of more than 4.2 million drug education booklets and thousands of information packets, banners, posters and educator kits, making them available free of charge to the public.
For young people who have “heard it all” and are skeptical of scare tactics, these materials bring them face-to-face with the devastating effects of drugs.
The commander of one of the busiest police stations in Los Angeles described the value of the Truth About Drugs program in his precinct: “The educational pamphlets and videos produced by this program have been invaluable in educating the community on the negative repercussions that illegal drugs have on society. ”
A Southeastern United States county formerly ranked in the nation’s top third for accidental prescription drug overdoses, reported major improvement from the program. The county provided copies of The Truth About Drugs booklet to all its middle school students—1,500 in all. When the next report was published, not only was their county no longer ranked at the top, it was nowhere on the list.
Scientologists are dedicated to helping youth avoid the tragedy of drug abuse and addiction. More than 100 Scientology Churches and Missions on six continents carried out awareness-raising activities on June 26, the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.
In Hungary, Scientologists help organize and run in the yearly cross-country Marathon for a Drug-Free Hungary, traveling to towns and cities throughout the country to advocate drug-free living.
Dutch Scientologists take part in an annual Netherlands Anti-Drug Marathon. In 2011, their two-week course covered 382 km (237 miles).
Along the route they distribute booklets, meet with mayors and other local officials and promote their drug-free message in radio and TV interviews.
In the Czech Republic, for the past nine years Scientologists have helped organize the annual Cyclorun for a Drug-Free Czech Republic—two weeks of running and cycling through the county. In coordination with town mayors, police and other local officials, they mobilize entire communities to take a stand against drugs.
A retired Congolese businessman learned of the Truth About Drugs campaign at the Churches of Scientology for Europe in Brussels and returned to his home country to form Say No To Drugs in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This foundation is reaching thousands with the drug-free message, making it heard throughout the country.
In the last year alone, through direct action and the Church-sponsored informational campaign, more than 100 million people were reached with the truth about drugs message.
To learn more about the drug prevention initiative sponsored by the Church of Scientology or to participate, visit the Scientology website.
The Church of Scientology sponsors the world’s largest non-governmental drug education and prevention campaign. It has been conclusively proven that when young people are provided with the truth about drugs—factual information on what drugs are and what they do—usage rates drop commensurately.