THE TRUTH GOES OUT AT COMMONWEALTH GAMES
As Australia’s Gold Coast hosts the Commonwealth Games, the Drug-Free World team is there to make it drug-free.
The Commonwealth Games are a multi-sport, international event taking place every four years since 1930. While there are 53 Commonwealth nations—mostly former territories of the British Empire—a total of 70 nations and territories are authorized to compete in the games. For the 2018 Games, 6,600 athletes from these Commonwealth nations and territories gathered in the Gold Coast, in the state of Queensland, Australia. The Gold Coast is a major tourist destination with its sunny subtropical climate, its surfing beaches, high-rise skyline, theme parks, nightlife and rainforests.
In April 2018, the Gold Coast hosted the Commonwealth Games for the first time. Such events mean tourists, parties and nightlife. They also mean drugs. It is a fact: with drug abuse and addiction already on the rise in the Gold Coast, a major international sporting event would only bring more drugs.
Therefore the Brisbane Drug-Free World team and Gold Coast volunteers decided to tackle the problem head-on to make these games safe. Their goal: distribute The Truth About Drugs, The Truth About Marijuana and The Truth About Crystal Meth booklets to the locals and the thousands of visitors expected for the games.
A primary target for distribution was the more than 680 hotels in the Gold Coast. The other key target was the local shops who would be supplied boxes of booklets for their customers. They also named all the hot spots for drug abuse within the suburbs of the city.
But Drug-Free World wasn’t the only organization concerned about the drug issue. Other groups soon joined forces with them, in addition to the Church of Scientology—DFW’s main supporter—they were joined by community service groups Women of Wyndham and Ramon Helps. Following them was the Melton Interfaith Network, the Australia Pakistan Youth Association, One Spirit Africa, Friends of the Children Foundation and Oz Star TV Channel, to name but some of the 14 supporters in all.
The Australian Lions Drug Awareness Foundation sent out a notice to all its members to join the DFW team for the distribution. As a result, a presentation was done to the Gold Coast Lions Club who took materials to present to their Lions Family Cub Program and then issued a certificate of appreciation to the DFW team.
Those receiving booklets often shared personal horror stories of their own addiction. Several stated that had they known such information, they would not have fallen into drug abuse.
As a lead-up to the April games, official booklet distribution began in March. Teams of volunteers visited different areas across the Gold Coast near the game venues. They met on Chevron Island outside the Currumbin Beach Vikings Surf Lifesaving Club and from there fanned out to Burleigh Heads, Surfers Paradise and everywhere else their feet or cars would take them.
They distributed over 128,000 booklets through more than 300 shops and 136 hotels. They also visited more than 25 places of worship and dropped booklets in mailboxes. Those receiving booklets often shared personal horror stories of their own addiction. Several stated that had they known such information, they would not have fallen into drug abuse, and then took more booklets to share with friends.
The stores were all too happy to display the educational materials, and hotels put them at their front desks and some even placed them in every room.
Now Drug-Free World Brisbane is busy helping those who’ve inquired, not only from the Gold Coast but from across Australia, as visitors and athletes returned home with the lifesaving Truth About Drugs booklets to share with others.
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