Nashville Church of Scientology Targets Tennessee Drug Crisis with Community Forum
“Fight Back: Make Drugs a Bad Deal,” was the name of the community drug prevention rally at the Church of Scientology Nashville October 28. Held in honor of Red Ribbon Week, its purpose was to align actions across Nashville for maximum impact on the drug crisis affecting the city.
The Church of Scientology and Celebrity Centre Nashville hosted a multi-faith, multi-cultural drug prevention forum October 28, on the theme “Fight Back: Make Drugs a Bad Deal.” The program, held in the Public Information Center of the Church, was organized in honor of Red Ribbon Week, a drug and violence prevention awareness campaign observed annually in October in the United States.
The Church briefed those attending on the very effective drug education program it supports—The Truth About Drugs. Drawing on 25 years of experience in drug prevention, the program has solved the problem of effectively communicating to teens and young adults the reality of drug abuse, individually and through mass communication. It includes a series of 14 fact-filled booklets, 16 public service announcements that can effectively deter first-time drug use, and the award-winning feature-length The Truth About Drugs—Real People, Real Stories documentary. The Church has made these materials available free of charge to anyone wishing to reach youth before the dealers do.
Attendees also heard from an undercover narcotics officer who spoke about the drug trends in Middle Tennessee and gave tips on how to detect and help loved ones who may be becoming addicted to prescription painkillers, one of the current drugs of choice.
Also presenting was Michael DeCristoforo, a former drug addict who now has taken it upon himself to spread the truth about drugs with informational seminars on the topic. The reason: he never knew what he was getting into, and believes that if others knew they would never fall into the trap.
Rounding out the program was a representative from the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, who spoke to what faith communities are doing across the state to handle the problem. He described churches that are being certified as “recovery congregations” and how they are reaching into the community and helping addicts.
The Church of Scientology and Celebrity Centre Nashville joins Scientology Churches around the U.S. in drug prevention activities each year for the Red Ribbon Campaign. Red Ribbon Week began when drug traffickers in Mexico City murdered DEA agent Kiki Camarena in 1985. To honor his sacrifice, a tradition was born of wearing red ribbons and pledging to lead drug-free lives. According to redribbon.org, the mission of the Red Ribbon Campaign is to present a unified and visible commitment towards the creation of a Drug-Free America. The Church of Scientology and Celebrity Centre Nashville organizes programs such as this in coordination with Drug-Free South (DFS), the local chapter of the Foundation for a Drug-Free World. For more information on the Church’s drug prevention activities visit the website of the Church of Scientology and Celebrity Centre Nashville.
The Scientology religion was founded by author and philosopher L. Ron Hubbard. The first Church of Scientology was formed in Los Angeles in 1954 and the religion has expanded to more than 11,000 Churches, Missions and affiliated groups, with millions of members in 167 countries.
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