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International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking

26 June 2014

International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking

In support of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) International Day Against Drugs, the Church of Scientology's Drug Free Ambassadors are coordinating the distribution of Truth About Drugs booklets around Auckland City, Taranaki and Rotorua.

The purpose of the distribution is to raise awareness about the prevalence of drugs in our society and several community groups are taking part. These include Tongan, Samoan, Niuean and Cook Island Wardens; the Turehou, Papatoetoe and North Shore Maori Wardens; Drug Free Ambassadors in Auckland, Rotorua and Taranaki; Awhetu Social Service Trust; Tumanako House, Orakei, and Tirohonga Hou Mo Nga Rangataki Social Services groups.

These participating groups are all engaging in some activity over the coming week, educating young people, handing out booklets at public events, in shopping areas and from their own community centers.

“Young people want good, reliable information about drugs and these booklets are very effective tools for educating people on the subject of drugs and what they do to the mind and body,” said Rita Peters, who coordinates the Drug Free activities for the Church.

With the combined forces of the Drug Free Ambassadors, Maori Warden groups and numerous community agencies and schools over 600,000 drug-information booklets have been distributed around the country since 2006, with the most popular ones being on marijuana, alcohol and methamphetamine or P.

The Drug Free World campaign also makes available drug education kits for educators and the film on DVD Truth About Drugs.

The purpose of the campaign is to provide good information about drugs, without being preachy or judgemental and this is seen to be the key to decreasing illicit drug use. The drug education booklets often get passed around in families and to friends.

One advocate of the Drug Free World campaign is Maori Warden, Mereana Peka, who helped introduce the programme in 2006. She started receiving reports of people stopping their drug use after reading the booklets and other stories where children gave the booklets to their parents who were users, and even stories from pushers who stopped selling drugs after reading the booklets.

“The Truth About Drugs booklets provide information in a straightforward manner so that the reader can make an intelligent choice to live without drugs. When young people are given the facts about drugs a large percentage usually decide not to use them,” Mereana said.

The resources used have been researched and surveyed to appeal to a younger audience and the materials have been adopted and used by many different agencies in New Zealand and around the world.

The slogan for the UN International Day Against Drugs is: Make health your “new high” in life, not drugs. More information on the UN International Day Against Drugs can be found online at: www.unodc.org and Drug Free World on www.drugfreeworld.org


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