Foundation for a Drug-Free World joins Washington, DC’s Police to bond with the community & educate on drugs

Drug-Free World volunteer Cynthia McIver interacting with middle-schoolers

Some of the police and community groups after Bon(d)fire Friday community event with the symbolic bon(d)fire earlier in the year

Officer sharing Truth about Drugs booklets with others

Foundation for a Drug-Free World Educational materials available free to teachers

The dangers of drugs are affecting our country. At community events, educational booklets help community members educate themselves and their children.

No one, especially a young person, likes to be lectured about what he or she can or cannot do. Thus, we provide the facts that empower youth to choose not to take drugs in the first place.”

— Thalia Ghiglia, Foundation for a Drug-Free World faith liaison

WASHINGTON, DC, USA, July 4, 2023/ — In the nation’s capital, Bon(d)fire Friday is an event held regularly at the Metropolitan Police Department’s Fourth District (MPD 4D) headquarters where the community can get together and bond, as if around a bonfire. Community members from Washington, DC, can engage with the police in a fun way, play some games, take a chance with some raffles, enjoy live music, and let the kids check out the DC Fire & EMS fire trucks and the Emergency Response Team tank. Volunteers from Foundation for a Drug-Free World’s DC Chapter have been attending the Bon(d)fire events to disseminate drug education materials and connect with others in the community.

Bon(d)fire Friday events have been created to bring the community together and create bonds and friendships. Community groups that offer help or programs are encouraged to join and regularly do.

Foundation for a Drug-Free World has made its presence known regularly throughout the DC Metropolitan area by delivering seminars at schools, setting up booths at local events and outdoor fairs, and engaging with leaders, dignitaries, officials, educators, and community groups on the harmful effects of drugs. There are fourteen The Truth About Drugs educational booklets, e-courses, full curriculum, kits, videos, and more to equip people with knowledge and the tools to educate about specific drugs and help people make better choices. Teachers use the curriculum in schools, as well as those in less traditional educational settings, such as at a camp or sports groups or after school clubs. The foundation states, “The Truth About Drugs Education Package is offered as an aid to educators who teach 11-year-olds and above in a classroom, group instruction or community learning setting.”

Thalia Ghiglia, Foundation for a Drug-Free World DC Chapter faith liaison, said, “No one, especially a young person, likes to be lectured about what he or she can or cannot do. Thus, we provide the facts that empower youth to choose not to take drugs in the first place. Additionally, our Truth About Drugs campaign consists of activities that they can join which popularize drug-free living. These activities are simple, effective and can involve people of all ages.”

In recent years, a drug of major concern has been fentanyl. Ten years ago, fentanyl started to come onto the scene and has since been the leading cause of death and fatal overdoses in the opioid crisis, with the percentage of overdose deaths involving fentanyl rising each year. Education about all major and well-known drugs and dissemination of factual information about fentanyl in particular has been given by the foundation’s DC chapter. Recently, Ghiglia has given seminars to 800 schoolchildren in the DC area using a tailormade PowerPoint presentation on fentanyl and other major narcotics. The foundation also participated on Father’s Day in the DC Black Fathers Matter Project in a motorcade and fair by passing out free drug-education booklets and speaking to community members about how they can take action against drug abuse in their environment.

The key is prevention. If there is enough factual information delivered into the community, then people can make well-informed decisions for themselves, and they can even help their friends and family make better decisions. For kids especially, educating early on is crucial so they will be informed about these drugs when they come into contact with them and make good decisions. These decisions can, ultimately, lead to life or death in today’s world of fentanyl-laced recreational drugs and counterfeit pills. It’s a scary reality check, but a vital one to confront head-on if we are going to help save lives.

Because education is the key to prevention, in addition to teachers and group educators having educational kits for use, downloadable resources including award-winning videos are available for anyone interested in getting more information.

The Truth About Drugs is a series of fourteen illustrated drug-information booklets containing facts about the most commonly abused drugs. The website contains the full text of these booklets, which were specifically written for young people, but contain facts adults need to know as well. Written in plain language, easy to understand, and available in 22 languages, this information explains the physical and mental effects of drugs on a person.

Foundation for a Drug-Free World is a nonprofit public benefit corporation that empowers youth and adults with factual information about drugs so they can make informed decisions and live drug-free.

Thalia Ghiglia
Foundation for a Drug-Free World
+1 202-667-6404
email us here

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