CLEARWATER, Fla., July 16, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Thousands of Scientologists and community guests gathered to dedicate a new Foundation for a Drug-Free World headquarters in downtown Clearwater, Florida, Saturday, July 11. Through its Truth About Drugs program, the Foundation is committed to eradicating drug abuse and providing meaningful drug education to young people throughout the Clearwater and the Tampa Bay areas.
The Drug-Free World facility could not possibly come at a better or more necessary time, with illicit drug use and abuse at a crisis point in Florida. A few alarming statistics tell the dire tale. Every 32 hours, someone in Pinellas County dies from a drug overdose. Some 63 percent of high school students in the county have used alcohol or other illicit drugs. Designer drugs including K2 (a synthetic marijuana) and other drugs are surfacing in convenience stores around the area. The Sheriff's Department is enforcing bans on these drugs, but they are easily manufactured and put back on the market.
"Drugs are ruining the planet," declared Mr. David Miscavige, Chairman of the Board Religious Technology Center, in his dedication of the new center on Saturday. "It's time to partner with every police department. It's time to partner with all sheriff forces. It's time to spread the Truth About Drugs by the thousands on a grass-roots level and it's time to do everything we can. That's why our new Truth About Drugs headquarters is dedicated to ending this plague once and for all, beginning in the city of Clearwater and the entire Tampa Bay area. But we need everyone's help."
The Foundation for a Drug-Free World and its Truth About Drugs program, sponsored by Churches of Scientology and Scientologists, stands as one of the world's largest nongovernmental drug education and prevention initiatives.
Fact-filled, high-impact educational materials are distributed by the Foundation to schools, communities and governmental institutions worldwide. DrugFreeWorld.org is the leading drug education site, visited more than the next five top drug education sites combined.
In Florida, some 56,000 Truth About Drugs booklets were distributed in 2014 in the Clearwater/Tampa Bay area. Nearly half a million booklets have been handed out in the region since 2006, with 15,000 young people signing drug-free pledges. The program has also partnered with the Pinellas County Sheriff's Department, the Ocala Police Department, and the Charlotte County Sheriff's Department.
The new Foundation for a Drug-Free World center on Fort Harrison Avenue stands ready to deliver drug education and prevention for the communities of Clearwater and Tampa Bay.
It houses an information center and features award-winning public service announcements and informational documentaries on each individual commonly abused drug. It also offers seminar rooms for drug education lectures and workshops. Truth About Drugs Education Packages are available in the center at no cost for educators to use in school and community settings.
And as community collaboration is at the core of every strong movement, the center provides administrative facilities for Drug‑Free World volunteers to partner on local anti-drug initiatives.
The worldwide drug prevention efforts of the Truth About Drugs program has effectively empowered youth to make their own decisions to be drug-free.
- In France, the sustained 20-year campaign of Truth About Drugs, with millions of booklets distributed in cities across the country, has contributed to a measurable drop in marijuana consumption among youth after two decades of rising use.
- Truth About Drugs volunteers in Italy have reached more than a half-million people through drug education events, public service announcements and distribution of drug education booklets—contributing to a 25 percent decrease in drug abuse in the country.
- In Israel, where the Foundation for a Drug-Free World distributed thousands of educational booklets and delivered drug education lectures to thousands of students in one city, drug use dropped by 70 percent.
This new Foundation for a Drug-Free World center is one of six new facilities, each dedicated to helping with the pressing issues that impact Clearwater and the Greater Tampa Bay area:
- A museum and operations center for Citizens Commission on Human Rights, the world's leading mental health watchdog group since 1969, responsible for helping to enact some 181 laws protecting individuals from abusive or coercive psychiatric practices. Its Clearwater information center features the Psychiatry: An Industry of Death museum.
- A new home for United for Human Rights, a global education initiative working to identify and protect the rights of every citizen of the world and now every resident of Pinellas County—where human rights abuses and human trafficking rank among the most severe in the United States. This headquarters promises to spearhead the fight against these unconscionable abuses.
- The Criminon Florida headquarters stands as a starting point in carrying out the mission of addressing the causes of criminality and restoring offenders' self-respect through effective character-building programs.
- A building dedicated to The Way to Happiness, the nonreligious moral code written by L. Ron Hubbard. Published in 112 languages, the 21 precepts have brought calm to communities torn by violence, peace to areas ravaged by civil strife, and self-respect to millions. The new Clearwater office will provide the moral compass needed locally.
- The new downtown home of the Church's Volunteer Ministers, part of a global movement active in 120 nations—the world's largest independent relief force. Scientologists volunteer more than 200,000 hours a year in the Tampa Bay area alone, living by the Volunteer Ministers motto that no matter the challenge, "Something can be done about it."
For photos, videos and more information log on to www.scientology.org
Contact: Pat Harney, Public Affairs Director 727-467-6860 email@example.com
Source:Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization