Scientology: How We Help—Scientologists Honored as Volunteers of the Year
Working to clean up the environment and help the community live drug-free
Scientologists Dick and Diane Hilly were honored in January 2013 as Volunteers of the Year by the Tahoe Truckee Future Without Drug Dependence coalition for their work to counter prescription drug abuse.
“Disposing of prescription drugs is a serious problem,” says Diane, “because although you can get prescription drugs from a pharmacy or hospital, you can’t return them—if you try to bring unused portions of prescriptions back to the drug store, they cannot accept them.”
The Hillys’ concerns are twofold. To begin with, they know that prescription drug abuse has spiraled out of control in the United States, and many teens who abuse these drugs began with pills found in family medicine cabinets. And, ironically, the housing crisis has added to this problem.
“Many foreclosed homes were abandoned with full medicine chests,” says Dick.
Their second concern is environmental.
“If people try flushing their unused meds down the toilet, the drugs go right into the ground and water system,” says Diane. “It is ingested by the fish; it contaminates our fruits and vegetables.”
“Until the Drug Enforcement Administration created the Rx Takeback Day initiative, there was no legal or environmentally-correct way to dispose of old prescriptions,” says Dick. “What is worse, no one is filtering our water for drugs. This is a big problem. There have been studies showing that folks and animals are consuming this stuff.”
Through the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Rx Takeback Day, twice a year, people can bring their prescriptions in to a designated location to have them safely incinerated.
“Diane and I organized, promoted and ran two Rx Take Back Days in Truckee resulting in 340 pounds of prescription drugs being collected,” says Dick.
The Hillys are active members of the Tahoe Truckee Future Without Drug Dependence (TT-FWDD), established to counter the destructive effects of drugs on local residents and the environment.
“Dick and I decided to survey people on their attitudes toward drugs, to make sure we were addressing the issues that are most important to the community.” says Diane. “We set up a booth at public events and did 500 surveys.”
“Diane and Dick have been a force of action in our community,” says the Tahoe-Truckee Future Without Drug Dependence program director. “They are really passionate about preventing abuse and put that into action. They are role models on how to be involved in your community and make things happen.”
The Hillys also volunteer for the Truth About Drugs education and prevention program supported by the Church of Scientology. They distribute The Truth About Drugs booklets and videos whenever and wherever they can.
“We organized and paid for a booth and enlisted the help of seven volunteers to help at the Tahoe-Truckee Airfair last summer,” says Diane. “We surveyed 260 people and contacted hundreds more with our drug prevention message. I also appeared on a local TV show to educate people about prescription drugs. The people in our area are very environmentally concerned. They just don’t know what to do. So Dick and I will continue to work on this issue. I love doing what I’m doing, and I have the satisfaction of knowing that I have changed the course of people’s lives—people I don’t even know.”
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 learn more or to read a copy of the brochure, visit Scientology.org/AntiDrug.
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, and Scientologists on five continents volunteer year-round to make this program broadly available. 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.