Drug Fight Reaches Critical Stage as Teen Painkiller Abuse Soars

With 10 percent of teens surveyed admitting they abuse over the counter medications, the Truth About Drugs program, supported by the Church of Scientology, offers hope to stem problem

According to a recent University of Michigan nationwide survey of 138,000 adolescents, one in every 30 teens uses painkillers to get high.

Painkillers are covered extensively in the Truth About Drugs, drug education and prevention initiative supported by the Church of Scientology, which includes a series of 13 educational booklets. Drawing on 25 years of experience in drug prevention, the booklets effectively communicate to teens and young adults the harsh reality of drug abuse.

The series includes an overview and 12 additional booklets, one on each of the most commonly abused drugs, three of which specifically targets this issue: painkillers, prescription drugs, and Ritalin. There are also individual booklets on each of the following drugs of choice: marijuana, alcohol, Ecstasy, cocaine, crack cocaine, crystal meth, inhalants, heroin and LSD. Each provides facts and statistics, describes how drug work, and covers the mental and physical short-term and long-term effects the drug creates.

Each booklet contains firsthand accounts from former users, talking about the misery of life on drugs. Experience and surveys show that teens and young adults are most likely to listen to their peers.

Educators, police, religious leaders, community and youth groups use these booklets in their drug education and crime prevention endeavors, finding them an invaluable tool to communicate the dangers of drugs.

A U.S. middle-school teacher commented, “The real-life stories captured the attention of all the students.” Another found the data to be “real, not just ‘textbook’ info.” A police officer serving as a school resource officer in Oregon said the materials are “priceless in painting a real picture of the dangers of the drug world for the students.”

From reading the booklets, students realize that some of the unexplained mental and physiological changes they have experienced came from the drugs they have used. They are often surprised to find how much they didn’t know about various drugs.

Volunteers have distributed more than 50 million Truth About Drugs booklets in 20 languages. These fact-filled booklets inform and empower teens and young adults to make their own decisions to live drug-free.

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 at

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.