Over 20 million Americans, or 8% of the population aged 12 or older, used illegal drugs within a one month period, according to National Survey on Drug Use and Health of 2008. This is why the Foundation for a Drug-Free World has plans to spread its education initiatives further in the coming months.
Anne Vallieres coordinates the local chapter, Drug-Free South. “When you have an increased knowledge of something, you become more responsible and need to do something about it,” she says, “so by providing a working knowledge of what drugs really do to a person, young people recognize they shouldn’t be taking them.”
Vallieres says this program doesn’t just tell a student to say no. “We give them the truth. The students decide for themselves to say no.”
Drug-Free South has been educating students in and around Tennessee since 2009. So far, the group has enlightened over 15,000 students across 30 counties in the state. The proof is in the results, as one school principal has said, “Today our students had the opportunity to enjoy an educational presentation from the program ‘The Truth About Drugs.’ The presentation shared a vast amount of valuable information about drugs, and it was presented in such a way that our students were able to understand the message. As a result, I believe our students will be inspired to make wise decisions as it relates to drugs. The program really supports our goal… helping students become the best they can be.”
The Foundation is a nonprofit public benefit corporation that empowers youth and adults with factual information about drugs so they can make informed decisions and live drug-free. It provides a “Truth About Drugs” booklet, an informational pamphlet that details short- and long-term effects of drugs, common street names and myths that a drug dealer might use to make a sale. The Foundation offers educational materials free of charge to educators and anyone who wants to learn more about drugs.
For more information, or to get your own copy of the booklet, visit www.drugfreesouth.org.