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Drug Overdose in Ventura, California, Is on the Rise. What Can We Do?

Church of Scientology Ventura where a community open house and forum marked International Day Against Drug-Abuse and Illicit Trafficking

Church of Scientology Ventura where a community open house and forum marked International Day Against Drug-Abuse and Illicit Trafficking

Church of Scientology Ventura hosts a drug prevention conference on International Day Against Drug Abuse and Human Trafficking.

VENTURA, CALIFORNIA, USA, July 3, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ -- In 2021, Ventura County overdose deaths increased 33 percent over 2020 and 94 percent compared to 2019. With the urgent need to take action, the Church of Scientology Ventura organized a drug prevention open house June 26 to educate parishioners and concerned members of the community on what they can do to save lives and help bring this deadly situation under control.

The community forum and open house took place on International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, a day set aside each year by the United Nations “to strengthen action and cooperation to achieve the goal of an international society free of drug abuse.”

The program began in the Public Information Center of the Church. It was set up for guests to watch dozens of educational videos of the drug education and prevention initiative of Foundation for a Drug-Free World. Then the Church director of public affairs conducted a forum where parishioners and concerned community partners learned of the extent and severity of substance abuse in Ventura.

A representative from the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office emphasized the importance of drug education and prevention. In Ventura, as in communities across the country, fentanyl and methamphetamine are responsible for the surge in overdose deaths, he said. And he believes use of today’s marijuana leads to consuming more and more harmful drugs. He briefed those attending that the psychoactive factor in marijuana, the THC level, is 30 percent as compared to a THC level of 6 percent in the 1970s and 80s. He sees a correlation between the greater availability of the drug and the increase in homelessness and crime in the region.

Those attending then watched the Foundation’s Truth About Drugs audiovisual materials on marijuana: a public service announcement and the section of the Truth About Drugs: Real People, Real Stories documentary in which former addicts spoke of the disastrous effect of this drug on their lives.

Foundation for a Drug-Free World is a volunteer-based organization with a network of some 200 chapters around the world. Thanks to the support of the Church of Scientology and Scientologists, the Foundation provides the Truth About Drugs secular program and materials free of charge to drug educators worldwide.

The Church of Scientology of Ventura was dedicated in November 2019 by Scientology ecclesiastical leader Mr. David Miscavige. The Church works with other religions, nonprofits and officials on programs to uplift and benefit the community.

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