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Compton Kids Learn the Truth About Drugs Thanks to the Compton Unified School District and its Partnership With Foundation for a Drug-Free World


Helping youth make the informed decision to live drug-free

On average, 22 adolescents ages 14 to 18 died of overdose in the U.S. every week in 2022. Each was a tragedy. Reaching youth with effective drug prevention can save young lives. Looking for a program that would get through to kids on this vital subject, Compton Unified School District (CUSD) decided to partner with the Foundation for a Drug-Free World. They began using its Truth About Drugs curriculum last summer. And the results proved they were right.

Compton kids studying the Truth About Drugs booklets so they can make their own decisions and decide to live drug-free
 Compton kids discuss what they learned from the Truth About Drugs booklets. By understanding what drugs are and what they do, they were able to examine their own thoughts about drugs and decide to live drug-free
 

The school district selected this program because it aligns with what local educators know from personal experience: Kids don’t want to be told what to do, but they will listen to information. 

A Kennedy Elementary School sixth-grade teacher told the Foundation why she finds the program “extremely effective,” especially with kids her students’ age. Many of her pupils have experienced drug-related problems at home. They are also exposed to false information on the subject from their friends, family members and social media. 

“It’s important that we discuss these things in the classroom,” she says. “I tell them at the beginning of every class, ‘it is not my job to tell you not to do drugs. That’s the decision that you are going to ultimately make. My job is to give you the facts and the truth about drugs.’”

A sixth-grader spoke of how the program gave her a way to deal with a dilemma. She saw that with drugs she was faced with making choices that would affect her for the rest of her life: “If you choose drugs, it’s going to lead to a very bad life,” she said. And she saw that by not using drugs, she would have a much better chance to do well in school and have the kind of life she wants.

At another Compton elementary school, the principal brought Drug-Free World Executive Director Jessica Hochman and some of the program’s volunteers into a classroom to see the program in action. The teacher had students highlight what they thought was most important in the Truth About Marijuana booklet. They were engaged and involved, and they paired up to discuss what they learned. 

“Our objective with the Truth About Drugs program is to empower kids with factual information so that they can make their own decisions,” said Hochman. “We’re not going to tell them to ‘Just say no.’ We believe that it’s up to us and their parents and teachers to provide them with the truth so they can decide for themselves not to use harmful substances.” 

The Foundation for a Drug-Free World is a secular nonprofit public benefit corporation that empowers youth and adults with factual information about drugs so they can make informed decisions and live drug-free. The Truth About Drugs program is the largest and most comprehensive nongovernmental drug education and prevention program of its kind. Overseen by the Foundation for a Drug-Free World, the program is used by teachers, school counselors, drug education specialists and law enforcement officers around the world. And its drug-free message reaches millions of people each year. Thanks to the support of Scientology Churches and Scientologists the Foundation can provide these materials free of charge to schools, civic groups, governments, law enforcement, and individuals and institutions in the private sector.

Watch the campaign in action on Voices for Humanity — short documentaries introducing change makers from all faiths, cultures and nations.



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