Documentary Takes Aim at Growing Prescription Drug Abuse

With painkiller abuse at epidemic levels, Truth About Drugs targets audiences with blunt messages about dangers of prescription drugs

In November 2011, the Centers for Disease Control Director Thomas Frieden told media: “Overdoses involving prescription painkillers are at epidemic levels and now kill more Americans than heroin and cocaine combined.”

The director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy described prescription drug abuse as “a silent epidemic that is stealing thousands of lives and tearing apart communities and families across America.”

These announcements came just one month after a University of Cincinnati nationwide study reported that one in every 30 teens surveyed had used painkillers to get high.

The drug epidemic has moved off the streets and alleys and into the home medicine cabinet. With the need for effective prescription drug abuse prevention greater than ever, the Truth About Drugs program, supported by the Church of Scientology, addresses the most commonly abused substances, including painkillers and prescription drugs. Drawing on 25 years of experience in drug prevention, the program has solved the problem of effectively communicating the reality of drug abuse to teens and young adults.

The documentary The Truth About Drugs: Real People, Real Stories is a no-holds-barred, blunt and compelling account by former addicts of how they became addicted and their nightmare of life on drugs.

“I would steal from my mom, I would steal from my brother,” says a young woman who was addicted to Xanax. “I would act out at family functions, I’d make a fool of myself, I would embarrass them, tell them things that I didn’t mean, be very hateful…. If I knew the side effects and the consequences—if I knew that I was going to be the way I was—there’d be no way that I would have ever taken Xanax, because, still to this day, I have a lot of regrets.”

“I was just hearing all of these good things, or fun things.  I went ‘Oh they must be great, I’ll try one,’” says a former Rohypnol addict interviewed in the documentary.  “The people who want you to buy these drugs—they don’t care.  They really don’t care about what happens to you.  They want the money.  And that’s really what it comes down to, otherwise they just wouldn’t do it.”

The Truth About Drugs booklets, public service announcements and documentary bring home to young people that drugs are a dead-end road.  Educators, law enforcement officers, and community and religious leaders who have put the Truth About Drugs curriculum to use see the results.

“Personal testimonies are powerful,” said a high school assistant principal who described the Truth About Drugs as “a must-see for all of my staff and students.”

“The Truth About Drugs materials help bridge the gap that law enforcement officers can face when talking to kids about drugs,” said a police officer.  “The videos and booklets are powerful and presented in a way that really speaks to them.”

The education supervisor of a statewide corrections department said, “This compelling program was implemented with amazing results. Thank you for making this material available. The impact wrought on the lives of those exposed to this program shall be life-long.”

But it is not only educators or those who work with youth professionally who can use this program.  Any parent, older sibling, anyone who deals with youth can take advantage of these resources, available free of charge on the Scientology website at

There is much that can and must be done, beginning at home. The Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy advises, “Parents and grandparents can take time today to properly dispose of any unneeded or expired medications from the home and to talk to their kids about the misuse and abuse of prescription drugs.”
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 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.