Italian Scientologists Promote Drug Education This Summer Because ‘Drugs Don’t Go on Vacation’
Volunteers from the Church of Scientology-sponsored Truth About Drugs initiative in Italy took their campaign to beaches along the Mediterranean coast in Tuscany to encourage youth to steer clear of drugs.
“Drugs do not go on vacation,” warn volunteers from the Tuscany chapter of Foundation for a Drug-Free World. Even on vacation, addicts need to find sources of substances to avoid going into withdrawal, which is why dealers gravitate to the popular Tuscany seaside resorts in the summer.
But dealers are always on the lookout for new customers too. In fact, a common thread through the stories told by former addicts in the Foundation’s Truth About Drugs—Real People, Real Stories documentary is “dealers will say anything to get you to experiment with a drug.”
Knowing this, Drug-Free World volunteers mobilize to fight drug abuse with information. In coordination with an Italian federation of bathing enterprises, they visited 14 popular beaches on the Mediterranean between Tirrenia and Marina di Pisa, distributing thousands of booklets on the most commonly used drugs—from party drugs like ecstasy to heroin, painkillers, cocaine...even alcohol.
Resort managers welcomed the volunteers and offered to display their booklets on reception counters and wherever guests congregate, including their bars. The volunteers found resort staff eager to be part of the solution by making this information available to their guests.
Next, the volunteers collaborated with a camping association and arranged to visit the main campsites along the coast. There too, managers set up displays of their booklets where people were most likely to see them.
The booklets contain facts on the short and long-term effects of these drugs, the reasons most abusers start to use them in the first place, the risks—including legal ones—and the impact of substance abuse on their lives, personality, relationships and families.
“We do this because when a young person is informed about the dangers of drugs, they can make up their own mind on this important subject,” said one of the volunteers. “They can think for themselves and choose to avoid places where drugs are sold or used and where alcohol is abused.”
Volunteers plan to continue to visit popular resorts throughout August when most Italians take their vacations.
Foundation for a Drug-Free World is 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. The Foundation’s Truth About Drugs campaign consists of drug education materials and activities that popularize drug-free living.
Scientology Churches provide drug education specialist training, sponsor chapters of Foundation for a Drug-Free World, and work with local educators, police, churches and nonprofits to reach youth on this vital subject.
To make these materials available to anyone wishing to tackle the drug crisis, the Church of Scientology International Dissemination and Distribution Center in Los Angeles, California, produces and ships out Truth About Drugs booklets, DVDs and education packages free of charge to parents, educators, law enforcement, community groups and nonprofits for their drug prevention activities.
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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