Australian Anti-Drug Group Tackling Drug Use Among Youth
An Australian drug education group called the Drug-Free Ambassadors of Australia is focused on education as a solution to the drug problem.
"The effect of drugs on the community is obvious," said Cyrus Books, the Sydney-based coordinator of the group. He pointed out that the following local news stories, all in just one week, highlight the urgency of the issue: the arrest of a member of an OMCG ("Outlaw Motorcycle Gang") for trafficking Ecstasy, an Olympic hopeful in kayaking and mother of two almost killing herself by driving under the influence of Ecstasy, speed and alcohol; and a report on the the increase of violence among 18-25 year old women.
"The word Ecstasy (meaning a state of intense delight) itself was a brilliant marketing strategy. Cool names were given to it like Red Mitsubishi, Doves and Lightening," said Mr. Brooks. "Of course these belie the eventual long-term effects, namely depression, brain damage, kidney failure, and possibly death."
"I hear a lot of people talking about Ecstasy," said one user, "calling it a fun, harmless drug. All I can think is, 'if they only knew.' In five months I went from living somewhat responsibly while pursuing my dream, to a person who didn't care about a thing. And the higher I got, the deeper I sank into a dark, lonely place."
In Australia, Youth Week is coming up and the Drug-Free Ambassadors group is helping kids learn about drugs and see the benefits of living drug free. The group will be out in every major city in Australia, distributing free information booklets on the most popular drugs, in an effort to reduce demand by education.
Any community group can contact the Ambassadors and get their own free booklets to give out in their area.
"Kids are smart and giving them real information—no-nonsense, but without the scare tactics—will help them to really decide that drugs don't have to be part of their scene," said Mr. Brooks. "They can find out the truth: that everything good about people is within them. They don't need a chemical to be happy. Adults can help young people find the greatness within them, and help them have real purpose in life. And drugs don't have to fit into that picture."
The Drug-Free Ambassadors is a secular, non-profit organization based in Sydney, Australia. It was established to meet the increasing demand for the international "Say No to Drugs, Say Yes to Life" drug prevention program, which has been conducted around the world for more than 20 years by members of Scientology churches in collaboration with the interfaith community, volunteer organizations, educational institutions and government agencies.
The purpose of the Drug Free Ambassadors of Australia is to empower youth and adults with the facts about drugs so they can make an informed decision to say no, and help others make the same decision.