Mother of Two Launches Grassroots Fight Against Teen Drug Abuse
Inspired by tragedy, Scientologist tackles problem using hard-hitting Truth About Drugs curriculum featured in newly released brochure.
Kolaleh (Koko) Tabibzadeh and her husband chose Glendale, California, as a friendly, safe community in which to raise their family. In 2012, a newsflash changed her life.
Local radio reported the death of a Glendale boy who overdosed on prescription medications obtained from family medicine chests. He and his friends took the drugs “for fun,” passing them around at a party. The boy died just a week before his 16th birthday.
With two boys of her own, ages 15 and 20, Tabibzadeh admitted she was naïve, never suspecting this form of drug abuse existed in her community. Galvanized by the tragedy, she was determined to get involved in drug education. She contacted Kathy Morrill, coordinator of the drug education and prevention initiative of the local Church of Scientology, who gave her a copy of the booklet The Truth About Prescription Drug Abuse. The fact-filled publication contains such information as:
- Every day in the U.S., 2,500 youths from 12 to 17 abuse a prescription pain reliever for the first time.
- Prescription drug abuse, while most prevalent in the U.S., is a problem in many areas around the world including Europe, Southern Africa and South Asia. In the U.S. alone, more than 15 million people abuse prescription drugs, more than the combined number who reported abusing cocaine, hallucinogens, inhalants and heroin.
- A 2007 survey in the U.S. found that 3.3 percent of 12- to 17-year-olds and 6% of 17- to 25-year-olds had abused prescription drugs in the previous month.
Launched on a mission to prevent such a senseless action from harming teenagers like her own, Tabibzadeh began calling police precincts, schools and PTAs around Glendale. She conducted seminars at the Glendale Community Center and organized showings of the documentary, Truth About Drugs—Real People, Real Stories, to parent groups including the Glendale and Hoover High Schools Parent-Teachers Association and Armenian and Latino PTA groups. She regularly volunteers her time to train kids in local classrooms and school auditoriums.
“The documentary is very direct,” says Tabibzadeh. “The information is right there—plain and simple. Former addicts and former drug dealers who lived in hell when addicted talk about how the drugs they used affect the body, mind and spirit.”
The documentary, public service announcement and booklets, which cover the most commonly abused substances, don’t simply say, “Just say no.”
“They are factual, riveting and realistic,” she says, “and they make the consequences obvious. I see the Truth About Drugs as an insurance policy to protect your children’s lives.”
The Church of Scientology has published a new brochure, Scientology: How We Help—The Truth About Drugs, Creating a Drug-Free World, to meet requests for more information about the drug education and prevention initiative it supports. To read a copy of the brochure or to learn more about the Church of Scientology drug education program, visit the Scientology website.
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.”
The Church of Scientology supports the Truth About Drugs, one of the world’s largest nongovernmental drug education and prevention campaigns. It has been conclusively proven that when young people are provided with the truth about drugs—factual information on what drugs are and what they do—usage rates drop commensurately.