Despite frigid conditions, volunteers from the Church of Scientology took their drug education and prevention activities to the streets of Moscow this week, distributing 2,600 fliers and collecting 2,000 signatures on drug-free pledges. And for good reason.
According to a 2010 United Nations study, Russia has the world's highest per capita heroin use, resulting in 30,000 to 40,000 drug-related deaths in the country each year.
The Russian Federal Service for the Control of Narcotics reported a 15-fold rise in the number of drug-related crimes and a tenfold increase in the number of Russian drug users from 1996 to 2006. As reported in The New York Times this week, an estimated 1.8 million users inject drugs in that country—the highest of any nation in the world. To worsen matters, addiction is hitting young people the hardest—the majority of drug addicts are 16-30, and over the last decade, the age of first use dropped from 17 to 14.
Volunteers from the Church of Scientology of Moscow, determined to reverse this trend, carry out drug education and prevention activities throughout the year. They distribute drug education and prevention booklets and flyers and collect signatures on their drug-free pledge every week. They organize a wide variety of activities, including street events and concerts. In June 2011 they carried out a marathon that traveled through 12 nearby cities.
To learn more about the drug prevention initiative sponsored by the Church of Scientology or to participate,visit the Scientology website.
The Church of Scientology of Moscow celebrated its grand opening at its new home on Taganskaya Street February 26, 2011. The new Church is designed to serve as a home for the entire community and a meeting ground of cooperative efforts to uplift citizens of all denominations.