Can We End the Overdose Crisis in Washington State? Foundation for a Drug-Free World Says ‘Yes’
Seattle’s Church of Scientology hosted a community-wide open house and forum with a presentation by the local chapter of Foundation for a Drug-Free World highlighting the need for immediate action to address the state’s drug crisis.
With the backdrop of International Overdose Awareness Day as a grim reminder of all who have lost their lives to drug overdose, at a community-wide open house in Seattle, Foundation for a Drug-Free World brought a message of hope and real solutions to counter the epidemic of drug use.
The Foundation is one of the world’s largest nongovernmental drug education initiatives. The program is built on studies showing that when kids are given the truth about drugs—what they really are and what they do—usage rates drop significantly.
In Washington State, counselors, educators and law enforcement officials are using the Foundation’s drug education materials to reach youth with factual information about drugs so they can make informed decisions and live drug-free. In addition to drug education materials, the Truth About Drugs campaign includes activities youth can join that popularize drug-free living.
In the last year alone, the Seattle chapter of the Foundation has participated in 25 events including conferences, seminars, open houses and festivals around the state, distributing over 56,000 booklets, videos and The Truth About Drugs Education Packages.
Public Health Insider, which gives official insights from Seattle and King County, recently noted that “Opioid-related overdoses and overdose deaths are at record levels in King County and throughout the state of Washington. It reports that “fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid 50 to 100 times more powerful than heroin or morphine, is driving this steep increase in overdoses and overdose deaths. Fentanyl pills made to look like prescription opioids are flooding King County. Illicit drug manufacturers are producing more and more counterfeit pills and powders with fentanyl, which translates into a higher risk of overdose and death—even from just one pill.”
King County is now officially calling fentanyl a public health crisis. So far this year, the county has reported more than 300 overdose deaths involving that drug.
The relationship between crime and drugs is indisputable. While not everyone who takes drugs commits a crime, an overwhelming percentage of people who do commit crimes also have issues with drug use.
Michael Eggers, Clean City Inspector with Seattle Public Utilities, briefed those attending the forum about the city’s “Sharps Collection Program” which provides for the safe disposal of syringes, needles and lancets and their removal from public property. City employees can’t remove needles from private property, but their team works seven days a week to remove them from public property and educates individuals and organizations around Seattle on how to keep safe when dealing with needles on city streets, parks and other areas.
“Education is the key to reversing the trend of fentanyl and other statistics,” said Dave Scattergood who runs the Foundation for a Drug-Free World’s Truth About Drugs campaign in Seattle. “Our youth need to understand the consequences of drug use, the dangers of fentanyl in particular, and how they can keep themselves and others safe.”
For more information, watch The Truth About Drugs: Real People, Real Stories documentary and public service announcements on the Scientology Network.
Foundation for a Drug-Free World is a volunteer-based organization with a network of some 200 chapters internationally. Thanks to the support of the Church of Scientology and Scientologists, the Foundation provides the Truth About Drugs secular program and materials free of charge to drug educators worldwide.
The Church of Scientology Seattle was dedicated in July 2010 by Scientology ecclesiastical leader Mr. David Miscavige. The Church works extensively with other religions, nonprofits and officials on programs to uplift and benefit the community. For more information on the Church of Scientology Seattle, visit their website at www.Scientology-Seattle.org.
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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