On Monday, Nov. 26, The Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization and the Church of Scientology, Tampa, announced that they have joined in the worldwide launch of the next phase of the Church’s 25-year-long campaign to combat drug abuse through their local distribution of a new publication, Scientology: How We Help—the Truth About Drugs, Creating a Drug-Free World.
The Church supports the Foundation for a Drug Free World and their Truth About Drugs campaign. Already one of the world’s largest and most effective nongovernmental drug information and prevention initiatives, this new release expands the scope of the Truth About Drugs campaign, making the program and award-winning materials available to communities everywhere. The Truth About Drugs initiative, a secular program supported by the Church of Scientology, makes highly effective drug education and prevention available to communities everywhere.
Internationally, Foundation for a Drug Free World volunteers have distributed some 7.5 million Truth About Drugs booklets in the last 12 months alone, and, with the Truth About Drugs curriculum adopted by schools, youth groups and law enforcement programs in more than 80 nations, an estimated 10.5 million youth have been empowered with factual information to help them live drug-free lives.
In Florida, more than 250,000 of the educational booklets have been distributed by volunteers while many youth agencies, schools, and law enforcement personnel utilize the booklets in their drug prevention programs. Still more are distributed by more than 100 businesses in the Tampa Bay area.
Julieta Gil Santagostino, of Clearwater, leads a corps of more than 30 Foundation for a Drug Free World volunteers who dedicate their time to the cause of fighting drug abuse. She knows the importance of reaching kids before the drug dealers do. She grew up in the Mexican border city of Juarez, where drug cartels have terrorized residents for years and warfare over drug-trafficking routes has killed thousands.
“I saw what drugs did to Juarez,” Santagostino said. “And I knew that was not something I wanted for anyone. I wanted to create a safe community in which children could grow up, and I want Tampa Bay to be that safe place.”
Described by law enforcement officers, educators and community leaders as “astonishingly effective,” “outstanding,” and “the answer to the global epidemic,” all components of the program are geared to interest and engage children and teens.
“Our founder, L. Ron Hubbard, spoke out about the problems of drugs and drug abuse from the inception of Scientology,” said Pat Harney, spokesperson for the Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization. “The Church has carried forward his message and has been dedicated to solving the problem of drug abuse for more than 25 years, drawing on its experience to create this program which successfully communicates just what drugs are and how they really affect the mind and body.”
The Church publishes Truth About Drugs booklets, banners, posters, information packets and educator kits, for the Foundation for a Drug Free World, making them available free of charge to health educators, law enforcement officers and other drug prevention specialists. For more information on the anti-drug initiative supported by the Church of Scientology or to read a copy of the brochure, visit the Scientology website, www.scientology.org.
Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard wrote, “The planet has hit a barrier which prevents any widespread social progress—drugs and other biochemical substances. These can put people into a condition which not only prohibits and destroys physical health but which can prevent any stable advancement in mental or spiritual well-being.”
Drugs are more than just another social problem. Worldwide, some 200 million people at all levels of society consume illegal drugs, with the U.S. consuming over 10% of the total. Almost 200,000 die from drugs each year – with just over 9,000 in the State of Florida in 2011, approximately 20% of the national total. Florida is a prime drug trafficking thoroughfare, leads the nation in ecstasy seizures, and is still one of the top states for the abuse of opium based pain relievers such as Oxycontin, which directly caused over 1,500 deaths in Florida in 2011.
For the first time, deaths caused by drug poisoning now outnumber traffic fatalities in the United States.
The greatest toll is on the young. Every 12 seconds another school-age child experiments with illicit drugs for the first time. Drug use in this age group has risen steadily throughout the past decade and children are exposed to these dangerous substances at younger and younger ages.