Volunteers from the Church of Scientology of Amsterdam joined former addicts in a two-week 350 km (217 mile) anti-drug marathon through Holland to raise awareness of the dangers of drugs. The team kicked off their cross-country journey August 2 in the town of Den Helder with the mayor joining them for the first kilometer of the run.
Along the route, the runners are distributing booklets and flyers presenting factual information on the effects of drugs. The former addicts on the team know all too well the damage drugs cause—how drugs can lead to stealing, prostitution and other criminal activities. They also have firsthand knowledge of longterm physical, emotional and mental consequences of using drugs.
"It all seems so innocent at first," says one of the former addicts, "but if I had known how drugs would destroy my life I would absolutely never have started. If I can prevent even one youth from suffering the horrors of addiction through this marathon, then I'm happy."
According to a recent study, there is twice as much cannabis use among Netherland teens age 15-16 as the European average. The purpose of the marathon, co-sponsored by the Say No to Drugs—Say Yes to Life Foundation, the Church of Scientology, and Narconon, is to decrease teen drug use by raising awareness of the dangers of drugs.
For more information on the drug education and prevention initiative of the Church of Scientology, visit www.Scientology.org.
The Church of Scientology sponsors the world's largest nongovernmental drug education and prevention campaign. It has been conclusively proven that when young people are provided with the truth about drugs—factual information on what drugs are and what they do—usage rates drop commensurately.