Scientology National Affairs Office Hosts Forum on Synthetic Drugs

On United Nations International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, the Church of Scientology National Affairs Office hosted a drug prevention forum focusing on a new breed of dangerous synthetic drugs.

Diplomats, federal agency employees, nonprofits, and regional activists gathered at the Church of Scientology National Affairs Office June 26 for a conference on United Nations International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking to raise awareness of the dangers of synthetic substances.

“The Truth About Synthetics Educational Forum” featured Special Agent Robert Bell of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) Synthetic Drugs and Chemicals Section, speaking about a new wave of synthetic drugs marketed to teens—with often fatal results.

Thousands of lives have been lost to these legal substances, all the more insidious as they are marketed internationally with such misleading and seemingly innocuous names as “potpourri,” “bath salts” and “incense.”

“Never have so many new drugs been introduced to our country,” Bell said, the same day the DEA announced its largest-ever synthetic drug takedown—the seizing of over 3,300 pounds of synthetics drugs. “Over the last three years it has been an onslaught—a flood. With no regard for the safety of children and adults there are huge profits being made.”

Joining Bell at the podium was Dr. Diane Sauter, Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Washington Hospital Center. A veteran medical toxicologist who has treated young people on synthetic drugs, Dr. Sauter described the biological consequences of synthetic marijuana consumption, which she illustrated with stories of patients who died.

Other speakers included Clark Carr, President of Narconon International, who presented a perspective of the impact of synthetics on drug rehabilitation service, and Corwin Knight, founder of Hope Foundation Reentry Network, who read moving personal letters from incarcerated youth whose lives were ruined by drug abuse.

Social Reform Director at the Church of Scientology National Affairs Office Jesse Morrow closed the event with an overview of the Truth About Drugs initiative, one of the world’s largest non-governmental drug education programs.

Youth advocate and community organizer Courtney Bennett acknowledged the importance of the forum: “It connected so many substance abuse prevention experts with community members, leaders and organizers to help ensure the community better understands the detrimental impact these synthetic drugs have on our youth.”

Volunteers from Scientology Churches and Missions around the world annually observe United Nations International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, demonstrating support for substance abuse prevention. Also known as World Drug Day, June 26 was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1987 and serves as an annual reminder of the importance of combating societal problems that stem from drug use and abuse.

The Church of Scientology has published a 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 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.