In October 2013, volunteers from the Nashville Church of Scientology teamed up with the Drug-Free South to help others live drug-free lives.
Tennessee now leads the nation in meth use, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations. Tennessee has ranked among the top three states for meth use since 2007 but has now passed Missouri for the top spot. To protect youth from the disastrous effects of abusing this and other drugs, in October a team of Scientologists decided to bring the truth about drugs to students.
Throughout the month, church volunteers joined with Drug-Free South to distribute copies of The Truth About Drugs, a booklet that helps young people understand what drugs are and how they affect the user. Drug-Free South is the Tennessee chapter of the Foundation for a Drug-Free World, an international non-profit organization. Its materials demonstrate the dangers of drugs through factual information and interviews with former addicts giving personal perspectives on each of the substances covered.
The volunteers also provided seminars to students in six counties during this time. One school to receive a visit from the Drug-Free South was Smyrna West Alternative where a teacher expressed his gratitude by writing a letter to the volunteers. He noted the program “is a highly informative, mind-grasping look at the dangers and horrible realities that addiction creates. Just say no is not just a cliché or a challenge for teens to try drugs after this program; it becomes a hard-hitting, in-your-face demand that has real meaning and power.”
Over 3,000 booklets were distributed in Tennessee during October for Red Ribbon Week, a week-long celebration to promote a drug-free lifestyle. The Red Ribbon has been worn as a symbol since 1985 when DEA Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena was murdered. Angered parents and youth in communities across the country began wearing Red Ribbons to show their commitment to raise awareness of the killing and destruction caused by drugs in America.
For more information on the Truth About Drugs, visit drugfreesouth.org. For more information on the Church of Scientology and its programs, visit Scientology.org.