The cost to the Australian community of drug and alcohol abuse is considerable – around 23.5 billion per year.
Rather than just saying no, our approach has been to educate on physical and mental effects of drugs.
From our experience with talking to literally several hundred thousand youth on the streets, it is clear that drug use does not equal knowledge about drugs and that education can make all the difference. This has been one of our most concerted campaigns of the last two decades.
These programs are run by our dedicated team of volunteers and through regular donations from Scientologists.
The Church sponsored anti-drug programs have touched the lives of over 600 million people worldwide.
Activities have involved 79 countries, with over 22 million educational booklet and 30 million fliers distributed to promote the anti-drug message. This has also involved over 280,000 billboards and posters to reinforce this positive message.
The Church of Scientology raises donations and pays for all of the materials and also provides grants for other projects such as producing a 90 minute documentary featuring former drug users, telling their stories of using drugs called The Truth About Drugs Real People Real stories.
This is also provided free of charge to anyone who requests it on-line.
In Australia, we have also established a Drug Free Ambassadors program, which provides free materials about the dangers of drugs to individuals and within communities. The Drug Free Ambassadors has worked for close to 17 years providing drug education material to youth throughout the country and has distributed close to 2 million drug education fliers and booklets – most through one-on-one handout by volunteers in most major cities.
Other Australian-based anti-drug activities organised by the Church include:
1 2.5 million anti-drug education fliers and booklets distributed at markets, fairs and street drug education events covering marijuana, ecstasy, ice and painkillers.
2 300,000 Australian youths have taken a drug-free pledge to dedicate them to help themselves and others to remain or become drug free. Anti-drug education booklets are distributed on a weekly basis in public place to youth and adults providing them factual literature on the long and short term effects of drugs. All items are distributed for free and are funded by Scientologists because living a drug-free life is a very important issue to them.
3 Translation of anti- drug education materials in Japanese, Chinese and Indonesian and Korean to enable the drug education information to be distributed to Australians of non-English speaking backgrounds and to some neighbouring countries which are known to be sources of drug imports into Australia.
4 The Church has made anti-drug education materials available for free down-load in 20 languages including new languages now being translated of Samoan, Tagalog and Malaysian. This assists in enhancing Australia’s bonds of friendship with its neighbours in Asia Pacific. Scientologists from Australia are also engaged in delivering anti-drug educational training to teachers in the Philippines and Indonesia, so that teachers are equipped with informative materials to properly educate youth on the effects of drugs.