23 million individuals in this country are abusing drugs and due to the prescription drug abuse epidemic, that number is growing. Obviously there is not a loud enough voice of reason to get kids and adults to think before they try that first drug or fill that prescription for pain meds for the fifth time.
Narconon is working to be that voice. On the fourth of July the organization put up a tent in the middle of a local town square, along with other community groups. The theme was freedom from drugs.
Hundreds of kids arrived for the face painting and Frisbees waiting for them if they read, understood and agreed to the drug free pledge, which reads as follows:
I pledge allegiance to myself and who I want to be. Because I can make my dreams come true, if I believe in me. I pledge to stay in school and learn the things I need to know, to make the world a better place for kids like me to grow. I pledge to keep my dreams alive and be all I can be. I know I can, and that’s because, I pledge to stay DRUG FREE!
The kids had a good time and so did the parents, most of whom insisted that their children really understand what they were reading and agreeing to, when they signed the pledge.
Inside the Frisbees was a printed copy of the TEN THINGS YOUR FRIENDS MAY NOT KNOWABOUT DRUGS.
Kids will be reminded of facts such as “All drugs affect the mind” When a drug wears off, the person wants more and “drugs ruin creativity”, every time they throw their Frisbee. Staying off drugs is associated with fun – not drudgery of a drug education lecture at school.
A few teachers and even a Girl Scout leader requested for similar fun presentation of drug education with the kids they work with and Narconon intends to oblige.
The fourth of July for Narconon drug treatment center was a time to celebrate all freedoms – the freedom to do, be and think. A mind scrambled with drugs cannot think clearly enough to take advantage of freedoms afforded by society.
As recovered addicts at the event explained, drug addiction is an entrapment. A drug addict is enslaved, even if living in a free country. One gentleman described how his family moved to the United States from another country to take advantage of the freedoms and opportunities here. They started a business and are doing well. However, this individual started using drugs and spent all his teenage and adult years addicted. He describes a life of slavery to drugs. The drugs took over his thinking to the point, he wasn’t even aware of what opportunities this country had and never really understood why his family moved here. Having been clean for a year, he has now opened his eyes to all the opportunities available and is creating a life for himself. For the next year, he intends to reach out to as many kids as he can through schools and civic groups and let them know the real truth about drugs.
The stats in this country demonstrate that this young man has his work cut out for him.
44 percent of middle school kids (five million) and 80 percent of high school kids (eleven million) attend drug infested schools. (This is according to the National Survey of American Attitudes on Substance Abuse, conducted by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse.)
Another study found that teens report that the number one reason they use drugs is to deal with the pressures of school. The reasons have changed from wanting to have a good time, to trying to deal with the stress of schools. Parents underestimate the impact of stress on their kids. (This study is released by Partnership for a Drug-Free America.
Research indicates that more than anyone, parents have an effect on whether their kids will use drugs or not. Narconon of Georgia realizes that where possible, drug education should be a family affair. When drug education is in the schools it should be interactive and fun. Materials should be sent home to the families so they can also stress a drug free life for their kids.
The Fourth of July is a celebration of freedom from tyranny. Drug addiction is its own kind of tyranny and Narconon of Georgia is doing its best to fight it.