[Image captions: In Germany, amphetamine zones have been saturated with Truth About Drugs booklets. They are distributed in stores and kiosks and by volunteers like these in Munich.
Elementary school students and law enforcement officers took the anti-drug pledge in Venezuela (right) and South Africa’s National Youth Commission (below) embraced the program for 20 million youth.
More than 450,000 booklets can be passed out on a weekend by volunteers. People were given booklets (from top) in Marseilles, Munich, Athens beaches, and Taipei.
The hallmark of Operation Drug-Free Earth is a factual presentation of how drugs impact the human mind and body—not slogans or scare tactics. The centerpiece is ten Truth About Drugs booklets, one for each drug of choice which are seeded directly to at-risk populations to catch youth before they fall. Simultaneously Truth About Drugs information and activation kits are mailed to anti-drug organizations, including health education departments, law enforcement agencies and similarly aimed federal programs. All are flanked with public service announcements which direct people to the drugfreeworld.org website. Thereby the program spreads, classroom by classroom, community by community and city by city until we create a drug-free world.
While usage rates are not shaved with every booklet distributed, by saturating neighborhoods with them, lives are invariably saved. That is why, on a weekend 450,000 booklets can be distributed worldwide. In cities such as Buffalo and Tampa, volunteers distribute them at baseball games. In the American Midwest, methamphetamine booklets are most needed, and in Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia, better than 30,000 booklets on crack cocaine can be distributed through a Friday and Saturday night.
Working with like-minded anti-drug groups, we reach another whole group of communities. In one California community, The Truth About Drugs booklets were distributed through a coalition of police, counselors and gang-intervention groups. Interim results show a 10 percent drop in drug-crime concerns and the Justice Department funded 60,000 booklets, enough for every youth in the community. In South Africa, the National Youth Commission just green-lighted a multi-lingual, multi-province rollout of the Truth About Drugs materials to 20 million youth.
Reaching people everywhere with the anti-drug message are the Truth About Drugs public service announcements. They play in St. Petersburg nightclubs and Budapest rock concerts and on television from Macedonia to Japan to the United States and the United Kingdom. At the same time, IAS-sponsored mailings resulted in the adoption of the program by police in Texas, teen associations in Arkansas and Mexican schools. Police and education departments of major cities are now calling in or logging onto the drugfreeworld.org website to find out how they can get the program too.
THE NEXT STAGE
Increasing the scope and effectiveness of Operation Drug-Free Earth means saving more lives. Key to its success is that it is not didactic, it does not preach and it speaks to youth in their own language. It has been found that the single most persuasive element in deterring drug use is the voice of experience. In other words, the voices of those who walked a biochemical road and lived to tell about it.
Consequently, the next stage of the program is a series of educational films, one for every drug of choice. While each will, quite literally, detail the ins and outs of every hot drug on the street—what it is, where it comes from, how it’s manufactured and how it impacts the body—they will also provide what no information booklet can: those who have known addiction first hand and who, in turn, will now be teaching the real truth. The films are as hard core as it gets, with no additives and no sugar coating.
To get the films into the hands of those who need them most, a complete educational package has been designed which will not only fit the needs of educators, but can also be used by youth and parenting groups that run drug education programs.
It includes a teacher’s manual with a full semester of lesson plans, essays and homework assignments. Additionally there is a complete set of The Truth About Drugs booklets, the films and public service announcements. All will be able to be ordered online and at no cost to the orderer—an important point for many of the schools and groups who want to combat the drug problem and save lives, but are themselves poorly funded. Top priority for receipt of the materials are schools and they will be receiving information kits directly through the mail. Ads in trade publications will offer the materials to youth counselors and police activities leagues and will direct them to the drugfreeworld.org website to obtain them.
Cyberspace rollout is central to the campaign, with flash ads on teacher and youth counsellor websites and ads for youth on sites they frequent. All direct them to the new, interactive drug education resource center on www.drugfreeworld.org. It presents the entire Truth About Drugs arsenal: all booklets and public service announcements and, ultimately, each of the educational films viewable online. Viewers can order the educational DVDs, booklets, and educational packages and information kits.
In this way, person by person, classroom by classroom, community by community, city by city and nation by nation, we create a drug-free world.1
- From Impact 119 (pp. 40-47) (2008) PDF format. ↩