This summer, volunteers from the Church of Scientology are taking aim against drugs in the Waterland and Zaan region of the Netherlands, where teen drug abuse runs well above national averages. In this area, one in five youths ages 13 – 17 have used drugs—one in 11 in the past month alone.
“Simply telling teenagers not to use drugs doesn’t work,” says Merel
Remmerswaal, Director of Public Affairs of the Church of Scientology
Amsterdam and coordinator of the Church’s drug education initiative in
the Netherlands. “We distribute Truth About Drugs booklets. The
title says it all. These booklets let kids know the consequences of
taking drugs—the effect of drugs on the mind and body. We also give drug
education lectures in schools. We bring along former drug users who
share their personal stories—they create quite an impact by telling the
students what it’s really like.”
In an interview with the
Zaanstreek op Zondag newspaper, Remmerswaal described the extremes to
which addicts will go to support their habits. She spoke of one young
man who admitted he stole and sold his mother's wedding ring to buy the
drugs he craved.
Remmerswaal explains why she and the other
volunteers concentrate on reaching children and teens with their drug
“Research shows that if youth do not use
drugs by the time they are 21 they are not likely to begin using drugs
at all,” she says.
For more information on the drug education and prevention initiative sponsored by the Church of Scientology, visit www.scientology.org.