Vol. 46, Issue 2 ‣ editorial
It’s Happening at our Doorstep
Teens who learn about the risks of drugs are
less likely to take drugs
Today, drugs permeate nearly every level of society and affect the lives of millions, including both those who use drugs and those who do not. We are bombarded daily with statistics documenting the damage done and the lives lost to drug abuse, but there seem to be no simple answers. Law enforcement has one view, politicians another, teachers and parents still another.
One thing is certain: a decision to experiment with drugs can too easily become the recipe for a life ruined by abuse, although that reality too often hits home long after casual use has become hardcore addiction. So what is the answer?
In this issue of Freedom, we examine the face of drugs in Los Angeles, a city where drug use and abuse impacts all social strata, from Beverly Hills movers and shakers to South Central dealers and hustlers. It is also a metropolis where dedicated men, women and groups are battling the drug problem in a myriad of ways. And they are indeed making progress, as you will read in our cover story.
We look at how patterns of drug use have changed and how new and more potent incarnations of familiar substances such as marijuana have dramatically increased the dangers of drug use. We view the menace from ground level, where Sergeant Mark Cripe of the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department successfully keeps young people from deciding to experiment with illicit substances; where former addict Frederick Hernandez keeps himself clean while encouraging others to avoid following the path he walked; where community leader Jesse Mendoza brings effective drug education to schools and community centers throughout his neighborhood.
The key to their success? Effective drug education through the Truth About Drugs program, a broad-scale initiative sponsored by Churches of Scientology and Scientologists that is proven to be one of the most effective tools in combating drug use and potential abuse.
And on the streets of L.A., as in other major cities throughout the world, the Truth About Drugs is gaining traction. Here you will meet those who utilize the program and have learned from it, as well as those whose lives have been saved.
The solution to the drug problem does not lay in law enforcement alone, where billions are spent to effect little real change. The ultimate answer is in reaching potential users or abusers with effective drug education that imparts genuine understanding of the real dangers of drug use, information that permits the individual to make an informed decision about drug use. If we are to create a drug-free generation, it will be comprised of individuals who are able to make reasoned and rational decisions to live drug-free.
In this issue, we also take you beyond Los Angeles to places where victories of a different sort are being won as well. In Detroit, an attorney battles to protect the rights of parents in their refusal to give their children dangerous psychiatric drugs. In Colombia, where the national military had become notorious for its savagery on its own people, one woman’s campaign has restored peace, order and sanity among the soldiers who perpetrated those human rights atrocities. And in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, in the wake of a series of deadly gas explosions in August, Scientology Volunteer Ministers rushed to the scene to provide help and spiritual first aid to those in distress.
There is much more to be found within. But in any battle, whether involving drugs or pulling survivors from the wreckage of a building collapsed by earthquake, the best story is told through the eyes of those in the trenches. In this issue of Freedom, we bring you that unique view.
As always, we welcome your comments and questions.
— The Editors