Vancouver – Bundled against the cold and braving the intermittent rain, volunteers hit the streets in downtown Vancouver, putting hundreds of copies of The Truth About Drugs educational booklet into the hands of kids, parents, teachers, counselors, street people and community police.
The team was led by French drug prevention crusader Robert Galibert, director of the Non à la Drogue, Oui à la Vie (No to Drugs, Yes to Life) Association of France.
Galibert was in Vancouver to deliver a workshop to train volunteers on the drug prevention program he spearheads throughout France. In recent months he has trained and coached teams of volunteers at similar workshops at Scientology Churches in Tokyo, Brussels, Copenhagen and Quebec and he will conduct the same program in Portland, Oregon, and Washington, D.C., in the coming weeks.
“Education is vital,” said Galibert. “Today, the problems from drugs hit us wherever we turn.” He emphasized the connection between drug abuse and other personal, family and social problems.
According to the Statistics Canada website, British Columbia reports the highest provincial rate of police-reported drug offenses. In the U.S., the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence reports that 80% of offenders abuse drugs or alcohol. Nearly 50% of jail and prison inmates are clinically addicted. Approximately 60% of individuals arrested for most types of crimes test positive for illegal drugs at arrest.
“Today, the problems from drugs hit us wherever we turn, we cannot ignore it. The Truth About Drugs materials give true information so people can make informed decisions.”
The booklets clearly struck a chord – many of those receiving them wanted more copies so they could pass them on to others. One man dashed across the street to ask for extra copies. A busker put copies of the booklets on her guitar case so those who stopped to listen to her music could pick up copies. The volunteers were inspired to continue their initiative by the many people who acknowledged them, thanking them for doing something about the problem.
Scientologists on six continents work in their communities throughout the year to empower others with the truth about drugs. The Church and its members are dedicated to eradicating drug abuse through education.