Church of Scientology Fighting Teen Drug Abuse

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The Church of Scientology is targeting one of the most harmful forms of teen drug abuse with a hard-hitting public service announcement about the illicit use of prescription drugs.

Statistics show a dangerous trend in prescription drug abuse, particularly among teens. In Arizona, the local office of the DEA announced this week that Phoenix high school students abuse prescription drugs more than hard drugs like cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine. Police in West Virginia announced yesterday that 75% of teens at one middle school have been exposed to prescription drug abuse. And a story earlier this week pointed out that sixty percent of Wisconsin teenagers have access to controlled substances in and around their homes and 20 percent of them have abused them to get high. Only yesterday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced plans to reduce the risks of illicit use of pain medication, citing a 2007 survey showing that in one month, 5.2 million Americans aged 12 or older used prescription pain meds for non-medical purposes.

Because Scientology churches around the world carry out grass roots activities to help youth make informed choices about drugs, the Church of Scientology International became aware of the serious threat prescription drug abuse presents to today's youth and created a public service announcement to raise awareness of the problem to help reverse this trend. This edgy 1-minute video impacts teens, exposing the lie that prescription drug abuse is "safe" or "trendy" by showing its fatal consequences.

This video is one of a series of 16 public service films produced by the Church of Scientology for the non-profit Foundation for a Drug-Free World. Graphically illustrating the effects of commonly abused substances, the films also target alcohol, meth, heroin cocaine, crack, marijuana and Ecstasy, in addition to prescription drug abuse.

These films are part of a series of educational materials provided by the Foundation include booklets, posters and other teaching aids, created by the Church of Scientology for educators, youth groups and government institutions.

Last week, thousands of football fans converging on Tampa for the Super Bowl watched two of these anti-drug films throughout the weekend. These public service announcements appeared hourly alongside celebrity interviews, sports highlights, previews and local news on two super-screens (120 and 400 square feet) erected in Ybor City and Channelside Florida by the London-based outdoor broadcasting pioneer Hill Davenport.

All sixteen of these anti-drug films can be viewed on the Scientology web site at http://www.scientology.org and http://www.drugfreeworld.org.

Contact: Wendy Beccaccini, Say No to Drugs Coordinator for the Church of Scientology International--(323) 960 3500

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Wendy Beccaccini
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