SCIENTOLOGY CHURCH HELPS 100 TOKYO YOUTH LEARN THE TRUTH ABOUT DRUGS

The Church of Scientology of Tokyo encourages drug-free living to young people in Arakawa ward in Tokyo.

The Church of Scientology of Tokyo took its Truth About Drugs program to Arakawa on Sunday to teach 100 kids the dangers of drug abuse and addiction.  The program empowers young people by giving them the facts about drugs so they can make up their own minds to stay away from them.

"The problem of drugs is no longer 'somebody else's' problem," said the Public Affairs Director for the Church of Scientology of Tokyo.  "Everyone knows someone with a drug issue."

Japan has long held a hard line on drug abuse.  But over the past 10 years, international drug trends have penetrated Japan and the influence has not been positive.  An editorial in the Japan Times said, "Until recently, Japan has not needed much of a drug policy, but recent headlines about 'university pot busts' indicate one is overdue." The editorial goes on to say, "There will be no way to restrict Japanese students from reading about marijuana on the Internet and becoming curious. Many students encounter marijuana when traveling or studying abroad. Still, the use of marijuana inside a country with strict intolerance to drug use is a sign of incredibly bad judgment, at best, and remains a crime with real consequences."

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), "drug use prevention programs are effective when they respond to the needs of a community, involve all the relevant sectors and are based on evidence."  UNODC further points out that "such programs are also cost effective. It has been shown that, for every dollar spent, good programs for the prevention of drug use among youth can save up to nine dollars. If other costs to society were to be counted, such as the costs resulting from crime, unemployment and ill-health, the cost effectiveness of good drug use prevention programs is likely to be even greater."

Churches of Scientology around the world, committed to helping youth live drug-free lives, work with students to provide them with facts about the harmful effects of drugs using The Truth About Drugs series of drug education booklets, a documentary film with former addicts telling their own stories of starting on drugs and coming back from the grip of addiction, and 16 award-winning Public Service Announcements, "They Said/They Lied," debunking common myths about drugs.

For more information on the drug education and prevention activities of the Church of Scientology, visit www.Scientology.org.