Dutch Scientologists Tell the Truth about Drugs
This summer, volunteers from the Church of Scientology are taking aim against drugs in the Waterland and Zaan region of the Netherlands, where teen drug abuse runs well above national averages. In this area, one in five youths ages 13 – 17 have used drugs—one in 11 in the past month alone.
“Simply telling teenagers not to use drugs doesn’t work,” says Merel Remmerswaal, Director of Public Affairs of the Church of Scientology Amsterdam and coordinator of the Church’s drug education initiative in the Netherlands. “We distribute Truth About Drugs booklets. The title says it all. These booklets let kids know the consequences of taking drugs—the effect of drugs on the mind and body. We also give drug education lectures in schools. We bring along former drug users who share their personal stories—they create quite an impact by telling the students what it’s really like.”
In an interview with the Zaanstreek op Zondag newspaper, Remmerswaal described the extremes to which addicts will go to support their habits. She spoke of one young man who admitted he stole and sold his mother's wedding ring to buy the drugs he craved.
Remmerswaal explains why she and the other volunteers concentrate on reaching children and teens with their drug education initiative.
“Research shows that if youth do not use drugs by the time they are 21 they are not likely to begin using drugs at all,” she says.
For more information on the drug education and prevention initiative sponsored by the Church of Scientology, visit www.scientology.org.