Ellen Maher-Forney and her daughter Julie Brinker received Presidential Volunteer Service Awards in 2008 for their drug education and prevention work and other volunteer services. Both have continued to serve their communities as volunteers ever since.
ST. LOUIS, Oct. 26, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- To engage the community in taking effective action against the drug overdose crisis, St. Louis County proclaimed October "Drug-Smart Month." They encouraged everyone to be part of the solution by using drug education to reach youth before they begin to experiment with drugs.

Accepting the proclamation on behalf of the local chapter of Foundation for a Drug-Free World and its many community partners was Ellen Maher-Forney, director of public affairs of the Church of Scientology St. Louis.

Maher-Forney has been active in drug prevention for more than 30 years. She and her daughter Julie, who now serves as Director of Community Affairs at the Nashville, Tennessee, Church of Scientology, have signed up thousands of children on a pledge to live drug-free. In 2008, both mother and daughter received the Presidential Service Award for their volunteer service to the community.

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The need for concerted action is clear. According to the proclamation:
  • St. Louis metro area suffered 55 percent of all Missouri overdose deaths in 2019 and 2020.
  • Drug overdose deaths in Missouri involving opioids increased 24 percent from 2019 to 2020.
  • Stimulant-related deaths rose 26 percent.

The proclamation begins by stating: "An informed person can make smart choices when it comes to drug use."

It is particularly important to reach youth before they begin to experiment with drugs. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that the majority of those with substance abuse problems begin to experiment with drugs by the time they are 18. What's more, drug education is effective. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime states: "For every dollar spent on prevention, at least ten can be saved in future health, social and crime costs.

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Scientology Churches provide drug education specialist training, sponsor chapters of Foundation for a Drug-Free World, and work with local educators, police, churches and nonprofits to reach youth on this vital subject.

Foundation for a Drug-Free World is a volunteer-based organization. There are hundreds of groups internationally, many of them hosted by Churches of Scientology. The Church is the main sponsor of the program enabling the Foundation to provide this secular program and materials free of cost to drug educators worldwide.

For more information, visit the Scientology Newsroom or watch videos on the work of drug prevention activists on Voices for Humanity on the Scientology Network.

SOURCE Church of Scientology International

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