SOURCE: Foundation for a Drug-Free World

October 29, 2007 19:07 ET

Local Chapter of "Foundation for a Drug-Free World" Invites Parents, Teachers and the Youth of Santa Barbara County to Participate in an Open Dialog About Drug Use in Our Community

Volunteer-Run Non-Profit Plans to Distribute 5,000 Copies by Year's End of "The Truth About Drugs Education Kit"

SANTA BARBARA, CA--(Marketwire - October 29, 2007) - Despite this year's rash of gang-related violence, crime statistics show that Santa Barbara County continues to rank as one of the state's safest places to live. Yet, even though adult and juvenile crime rates are among California's lowest, law enforcement officials and community leaders say drug use by youth continues to grow and is emerging as one of the most significant problems they face.

"I think people in Santa Barbara, Goleta and throughout the County tend to think we're immune from the problems that plague other cities," said Enrique Espinosa, a businessman and head of the Santa Barbara chapter of the Foundation for a Drug-Free World, a national non-profit drug prevention program. "But the reality is that dangerous and illegal drugs such as meth, ecstasy, crack cocaine, LSD and dozens of other terribly destructive substances are in our schools, our playgrounds and our children's pockets."

To raise awareness of drug use in Santa Barbara County, the Santa Barbara chapter of the Foundation for a Drug-Free World will be distributing free copies of "The Truth About Drugs Education Kit" on Halloween, October 31 at 1165 Coast Village Road from 3 PM to 6 PM as well as at 900 State Street in front of Border's Book Store from 4 PM to 6 PM.

"We want to make the point that although drugs are a national problem, the solution must start with local awareness and the active involvement of everyone in our community to make a difference," Mr. Espinosa stated. "That's why our theme is 'A Drug-Free World Starts Right Here' and our goal is to achieve solidarity with parents, teachers, city hall, police and our young people."

According to organizations such as the Office of National Drug Control, despite the "war on drugs" launched by the federal government in the mid-1970s, drug usage in the U.S. continues to grow and remains an intractable social and public health problem. Estimates by the ONDC, a branch of the Executive Office of the President, place the annual cost of drug abuse in America at $180.9 billion. The Foundation for a Drug-Free World, a partner of the Church of Scientology, was launched in October 2006 to counter this pressing global issue with a comprehensive education and drug prevention program.

"Our objective is to equip those most in need of effective tools and to head off drug experimentation and abuse before it sets in and destroys lives," said Pascal Cottier, a director of the Foundation which is headquartered in Los Angeles. "When youth are empowered with knowledge of what drugs are and do, they will make informed, intelligent decisions about them. Drug abuse can be avoided by reaching youth early enough with what they need to know, so they will not be misled or fooled into doing drugs."

Funded by private grants, the Foundation's education mailing program provides a drug education kit that includes a "The Truth About Drugs" booklet series featuring commonly abused drugs such as marijuana, methamphetamine, painkillers, prescription stimulants, heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine, LSD and ecstasy. The kit can be ordered online at www.drugfreeworld.org and the Foundation also encourages sponsored reprints of the booklets for schools, law enforcement agencies and other community groups.

"Make no mistake, drug use among youth is epidemic," Mr. Espinosa commented, citing a recent survey conducted by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at schools across the nation.

"By simply asking school kids, the researchers found that 11 million high school students, roughly 80 percent, and five million middle school students, or 44 percent, have personally witnessed illegal drug use, dealing, possession or students drunk or high at school," he said. "That's the depressing news; the good news is that studies suggest that if a young person reaches the age of 21 without using illicit drugs, they are highly unlikely to ever do so. That's our goal: reach them before this intrudes into their lives."

Get Involved!

About the Foundation for a Drug-Free World

The Foundation for a Drug-Free World is a secular, non-profit organization based in Los Angeles, California. It was established to meet the increasing demand for the international "Say No to Drugs, Say Yes to Life" drug prevention program, which has been conducted around the world for more than 20 years by members of Scientology churches in collaboration with the interfaith community, volunteer organizations, educational institutions and government agencies.

The purpose of the Foundation is to empower youth and adults with the facts about drugs so they can make an informed decision to say "no" and help others make the same decision.

Contact Information

  • To find out more about the Foundation for a Drug-Free World contact:
    Enrique Espinosa
    Foundation for a Drug-Free World, Santa Barbara
    Tel.: (805) 564-4698

    Media Contact:
    Christie Communications
    Tel.: (805) 969-3744