The Nashville Church of Scientology hosted a multi-faith, multi-cultural forum on drug prevention and education in honor of Red Ribbon Week, which occurs the last week of October each year and is the oldest and largest drug prevention campaign in the country, according to imdrugfree.com. The forum was titled “Fight Back: Make Drugs a Bad Deal.”
The Church showcased the Truth About Drugs program and the educational materials which are provided to community groups and schools free of charge.
Attendees heard from a narcotics officer who spoke about the drug trends in Middle Tennessee and gave tips on how to help loved ones who may be becoming addicts to prescription painkillers, one of the current drugs of choice. Also presenting was a former drug addict who now has taken it upon himself to spread the truth about drugs with informational seminars on the topic. The reason: he never knew what he was getting into, and believes that if others knew they would never fall into the trap.
Rounding out the program was a representative of the Office of Faith-Based and Special Initiatives from the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services who spoke to what faith communities are doing across the state to handle the problem. He described congregations that are being certified as “recovery congregations” and how they are reaching into the community and helping addicts.
The Church of Scientology participates in drug prevention activities each year for the Red Ribbon Campaign, which was started when drug traffickers in Mexico City murdered DEA agent Kiki Camarena in 1985. This began the continuing tradition of displaying Red Ribbons as a symbol of intolerance towards the use of drugs. The mission of the Red Ribbon Campaign is to present a unified and visible commitment towards the creation of a Drug-Free America, according to redribbon.org.
The Church works with Drug-Free South (DFS), the local chapter of the Foundation for a Drug-Free World. DFS has participated in the Red Ribbon campaign since 2009 by distributing copies of The Truth About Drugs booklets, which help young people understand what drugs are and how they affect the user. For more information on DFS, visit drugfreesouth.org. For more on the Church of Scientology’s drug prevention efforts, visit scientology-ccnashville.org/antidrug.