International Narconon network delivers for UN anti-drug abuse day
United Nations International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking
June 2008 -- From Los Angeles to Atlanta, Cape Town to Moscow, Mexico City to Bruxelles, Narconon staff and volunteers are delivering drug education talks or creating public awareness events on and around June 26th, the UN International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.
Drug education in South Texas
With these events, Narconon staff, many being graduates of the Narconon social model drug rehabilitation program, celebrate the year's accomplishment of providing presentations to more than one million youth worldwide.
"Yes, there is a lot to do to stem the tide of drug experimentation by youth," says Clark Carr, President of Narconon International, headquartered in Los Angeles. "Daily we are confronted with new, sometimes bizarre statistics, such as described in the recent LA Times article, relating that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other organizations are now drug screening municipal waste water and sewage systems to determine city-wide abuse of drugs--drug metabolites in the sewers!" London and Milan are reported to show heroin use. Las Vegas, more methamphetamine. But Narconon staff and students, Carr says, know from talking with students face to face what drugs are being used right now, where. The kids always are in the know about the street and school scene.
Drug Education Survey Result
"I would never use drugs"
Drug Education Result
In the U.S., in this last year Narconon reached 265,000 youth with drug education. In Southern California, Tony Bylsma, as an example, spearheaded delivery of 540 talks to 26,000 students in 173 schools.
He knows from his students what "pharming" parties are--the new term for hanging out and downing assorted pharmaceuticals from parents' medicine cabinets or pills scored on the net. "However," Bylsma says, "daily I do get good news, bright, thankful faces." Narconon drug educators regularly survey their students. Bylsma showed a recent Los Angeles 7th-grader survey which cheerfully reports, "It was cool! Cause he wasn't boring and we understood him... Before I thought drugs were cool, and I was so close to using them." On the 26th Bylsma will be lecturing all day to parents, students, and officials in Los Angeles.
Adults too need constantly to learn what's what in the changing drug scene. As part of the Narconon UN (Anti-Drug Day) events, Narconon Georgia's Executive Director, Mary Rieser, and Gordie Weinand, a 40-year graduate of the founding Narconon program, will be educating police and other officials on current drug use in Atlanta.
Drug Education - Cape Town, South Africa
In Cape Town, South Africa, Drug Prevention specialist, Robert Van Der Feyst, also himself a graduate, will give a workshop to hospital staff on how to talk to kids about drugs. On a more serious note, Ugo Ferrando, Italian President of Narconon Southern Europe, will educate diplomats in Bruxelles on the Asian street drug main puri (tobacco snuff mixed with street drugs), a scourge in Pakistan and India but only now coming on scene in Europe with increasing immigration.
Over in the Ukraine, Marina Gribanova of Narconon Kiev will spend the 26th on national television, invited as the premier drug educator of the country. Way back over in Quebec, Narconon Trois Rivieres staff will celebrate with a big drug-free and alcohol-free event the 26th, July 4th, and Canada Day (July 1st) all together. And the listing could go on.
"The sun never sets on Narconon drug education," says Carr. "We can't afford to rest. Fortunately, we get more energy back from the kids than we ever give out. That's the joy of doing this work."