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Conference Stresses Drug Prevention to Protect Youth

Third Annual Foundation for a Drug-Free Europe conference salutes the U.N. Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC), which emphasizes drug education in their campaign this year.

Drug prevention leaders from across Europe gathered in Brussels for the third annual Foundation for a Drug-Free Europe conference.

Affiliated organizations from Belgium, France, Greece and Italy gave presentations on the drug problem in their respective countries and the progress made over the past year.

Drug prevention leaders from across Europe gathered in Brussels for the third annual Foundation for a Drug-Free Europe Conference
Drug prevention leaders from across Europe gathered in Brussels for the third annual Foundation for a Drug-Free Europe conference
 

The first session highlighted the increase in drug use, its human and social consequences, and the enormous social and financial cost of public misinformation, particularly regarding cannabis.

Throughout the conference, speakers stressed that ignorance plays a crucial role in the proliferation of drugs.

The consensus was that priority must be given to reaching youth before they begin to abuse dangerous and addictive substances.

Speakers applauded the UNODC for this year’s theme, announced on the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking: “Think First”—encouraging youth to learn the facts before they experiment with drugs.

Delegates and attendees agreed on the importance of involving larger segments of the community in drug prevention initiatives, particularly parents, teachers, elected officials and health personnel. Because they are in contact daily with large numbers of young people, with minimal training they can become a tremendous asset in the drug prevention effort.

Conference delegates agreed that article 33 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child is every bit as true today as when the Convention was adopted by the U.N. 26 years ago. It states: “Parties shall take all appropriate measures, including legislative, administrative, social and educational measures, to protect children from the illicit use of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances as defined in the relevant international treaties, and to prevent the use of children in the illicit production and trafficking of such substances.”

The Foundation for a Drug-Free Europe is an affiliate of the Foundation for a Drug-Free World and uses its Truth About Drugs materials and educator’s guide in its work.

The Church of Scientology and its members support the Foundation for a Drug-Free World, a nonprofit public benefit corporation that empowers youth and adults with factual information about drugs so they can make informed decisions to live drug-free.

Drug-Free World partners with civic and nongovernmental organizations including more than 1,200 police departments in the United States. Through its worldwide network of volunteers and partnerships, it has distributed 6.7 million copies of The Truth About Drugs booklets over the past year—more than 79 million copies since the booklets were first published in 2006.

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.

CONTACT:
Church of Scientology Media Relations
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(323) 960-3508 fax