July 1, 2005

Kids Bring Drug Awareness to the Community

Sunday, June 26th marked the United Nations International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Trafficking. The Drug-Free Marshals, kids 10-16, took this opportunity to bring awareness about drugs, not only to their peers but the community at large.

The Drug-Free Marshals community outreach program sponsored by the Church of Scientology acknowledges youth for being drug-free and encourages them to learn more about the harmful effects of drugs. Since its inception in 1993, kids from all over the world have taken the pledge to pro-actively promote and advocate a drug-free life. The seven-point pledge that they take stresses being informed, helping others, setting a good example and leading the way to a drug-free USA.

In observance of the International Day Against Drug Abuse, the Drug-Free Marshals took turns going out into the community. On Friday, 10-year old Ana Corrigan, Stephanie Baker and Shivaun Lueke, 14, met with representatives from Congressman Duncan Hunter’s office to let them know about the importance of drug-education for kids. Shivaun, the 2003 Grand Prize Winner of the Drug-Free Marshals “Helping My Community Be Drug-Free” contest, won a trip to Washington, D.C., where she first met with Congressman Hunter and told him about her commitment to helping the community be drug-free.

“I live in the community and work with others and I want to make sure my community is drug-free. That’s why we talk to people in charge who help make changes. Together we can make a difference,” said Shivaun, who lives in Crest.

On Sunday, Joseph Ayers, 11, Barbara Padilla, 10 and her sister Adriana, 16, set up a booth at the Hillcrest Farmers Market to bring drug-awareness to the locals in the area. Equipped with badges, pledges, and drug education booklets, the kids swore in new Drug-Free Marshals and passed out booklets.

When asked why he wanted to come out and help, Joseph, a 5th grader from Spring Valley Elementary replied “I know how bad drugs can hurt people and this is how I can help make people stop taking drugs. I do this so they know how bad drugs can be and they can give these booklets to someone they know.”

Humanitarian L. Ron Hubbard says, “People mistakenly believe they ‘feel better’ or ‘act better’ or are ‘only happy’ when on drugs. This is just another delusion. Sooner or later the drugs will destroy them physically. Discourage people from taking drugs.” To spread the word about the harmful effects of drugs, the Church of Scientology’s Drug-Free Marshals campaign also conducts a massive world-wide multilingual drug education effort responsible for distributing more than a million booklets describing the effects of cocaine, ecstasy, and marijuana – one of the most devastating genetically yet least recognized for its potential damage. They are handed out at festivals, parades, local businesses, police stations, clubs, churches and community coalitions.

For more information about the Drug-Free Marshals program or to procure anti-drug booklets, visit www.drugfree marshals.org or email dfmsandiego@hotmail.com.

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