Expanding World Health Day into a Weeklong Community-based Anti-Drug Initiative

Top Quote Scientology Churches turn World Health Day April 7 into a week of activities to counter drug abuse, working with civic, community and religious leaders to create a groundswell of community support for drug prevention and education. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) April 22, 2015 - With the World Health Organization reporting 3.3 million alcohol-related deaths each year, 15.3 million people addicted to drugs, and 120 countries suffering from HIV caused by injected drug use, Scientologists are marking World Health Day with an entire week of activities April 7-14 to rally their communities to counter drug abuse.

    "Our goal is a drug-free world," said Fabio Amicarelli, coordinator of the social reform activities of the Church of Scientology International. "Drug abuse is so pervasive in our world, it is only by community groups working together at a grassroots level that we can handle the epidemic. But more than 25 years of experience has proven to us that we save lives every time we reach out to youth with factual information about drugs."

    While Scientologists are active in drug education throughout the year, on World Health Day in April and the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in June, they pull out all stops, organizing open houses, drug education seminars, conferences, and workshops featuring educators, law enforcement officers and community leaders-the leading proponents of drug prevention in their zones.

    This week's programs include training in the Truth About Drugs initiative, with materials based on nearly three decades of hands-on work helping youth understand the consequences of using the most commonly abused substances. Study of these materials helps young people make their own firm, self-determined decisions to live drug-free.

    An overview of the week's activities include a conference at the Church of Scientology of Johannesburg, where Bishop Ogbu of Impact Africa Network spoke of the role of churches in fighting drugs. The World Health Day program in Pretoria, South Africa, concentrated on the relationship between drugs and crime.

    The Nashville Church of Scientology held a forum with community police representatives, and local non-profit groups who work with children to plan a series of events to address the drug problem in surrounding communities.

    The Founding Church of Scientology in Washington, D.C. held a drug prevention open house, and the Church of Scientology of Buffalo, New York, held a community-based forum, where a racecar driver explained why he promotes the Truth About Drugs program through his racing.

    The National Director of MAD DADS (Men Against Destruction, Defending Against Drugs and Social-disorder) was the guest speaker and the World Health Day Open House at the Church of Scientology of Twin Cities, Minnesota.

    In Denver, Colorado, the keynote speaker was an officer of the Rocky Mountain HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas)-a program created by U.S. Congress to provide help in critical drug-trafficking regions in the U.S. He gave an overview of the impact the state's legalization of marijuana has had on Colorado and beyond.

    At the Church of Scientology of Los Angeles, a retired deputy sheriff, a specialist on the subject of synthetic drugs, gave an in-depth presentation on these substances, their effects, and how dealers skirt the law by creating new versions of drugs through minor chemical alterations that make them no longer "technically" illegal.

    Those attending the forum at the Church of Scientology of Pasadena were briefed on proposed anti-drug legislation.

    In Phoenix, the highlight was the personal story of a woman who described her teen years separated from her incarcerated heroin-addicted mother and how she and her mother have turned their family's tragedy into a program to help others.

    In Seattle and New York representatives of the police departments spoke of the results they have seen from the use of the Truth About Drugs Program.

    The Scientology Organization of Mexico presented a "Colloquium on the Problem and Solution to Drugs in Mexico" attended by local and national law enforcement agencies who have adopted the program. It included a presentation on the results of having trained more than 2,000 policemen on the Truth About Drugs program and the use the officers have made of these materials in their work in the community.

    There were also open house events, conferences and community round tables in Canada, Italy and Russia, with additional programs planned for the coming days in Taiwan, Australia and Israel.

    The Church of Scientology supports The Truth About Drugs drug education and prevention initiative.

    Inspired by the words of L. Ron Hubbard, Founder of the Scientology religion, that "a being is only as valuable as he can serve others," Scientologists wholeheartedly support these programs. Participation and collaboration in these initiatives is invited and welcomed from all who seek to improve conditions for themselves and others.

    For more information, visit the Scientology website at www.Scientology.org/how-we-help/voice-for-humanity.

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