Diogenes Luiz de Oliveira (center front) has reached 40,000 students with the Truth About Drugs initiative of Foundation for a Drug-Free World

CUIABA, Brazil, Feb 22, 2024 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) — Growing up surrounded by gangs, crime, and violence that plagued his neighborhood in Cuiabá, Brazil, in the ’80s and ’90s, Diogenes Luiz de Oliveira tried to escape from that life by using and trafficking drugs. Now, he uses his own story and the drug education materials of Foundation for a Drug-Free World to help keep kids out of the trap that consumed and nearly destroyed his life.

Oliveira and his brother were raised by a single mother. While she always put food on the table, childhood was a meager affair. “I remember going through the garbage in the richest neighborhoods to look for toys for my brother and me,” he says.

He began using marijuana at 14. Then his uncle introduced him to cocaine. He would come home at dawn after a weekend of nonstop alcohol and cocaine abuse, and his mother would be waiting up for him. She tried to get through to him about what he was doing with his life. But to no avail.

At first, he confined himself to selling marijuana, but he soon graduated to trafficking cocaine and crack. And because he was selling, he always had access to drugs. He started out using cocaine twice a week, but it rapidly accelerated to a constant activity.

Oliveira began singing gangsta rap. “The songs I wrote spoke about my daily life on the streets and the violence on the outskirts of the city,” he says. “I extolled crime and gangs in the lyrics and cursed the police.” He and his group began opening major shows. It was a dream come true. With fame came increased police scrutiny, and in 2003, he was arrested and served time for drug trafficking and theft. But if prison was supposed to teach him a lesson, it failed. It was there that he began using crack.

“When I got out of prison, addicted to crack, with no future, and with only the streets to shelter me, I plunged headlong into the wrong things,” he says.

As fate would have it, his mother had remarried, and her husband was a police officer. When she finally convinced him to go into rehab, it was her husband, a cop, who paid for it.

“It was the best decision I ever made,” he says. “Life teaches you in surprising ways. I learned there are good cops and bad cops.”

Olveira still raps. But his songs now focus on staying clean. He uses his music to speak his truth: that crime and drugs are not the way to solve the problems in life. He began visiting schools to share his story and to help kids make the decision to live drug-free.

In 2018, he teamed up with Mundo Sem Drogas, the Brazilian chapter of the Foundation for a Drug-Free World, and has used its Truth About Drugs booklets and videos to educate some 40,000 local children.

“My dream is to continue rapping and bringing my story to schools to reach them with the truth about drugs,” he says.

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. Through the support of Scientology Churches and Scientologists, the Foundation offers its drug education resources free of charge to anyone wishing to use them to educate others about drugs. The program is inspired by Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard, who noted the role substance abuse plays in the disintegration of the social fabric. Through his research, he found that “the single most destructive element present in our current culture is drugs.”

The Foundation’s Truth About Drugs materials and online drug education courses are available free of charge in 19 languages through the Foundation’s website.

Watch the Drug-Free World public service announcements and The Truth About Drugs-Real People, Real Stories documentary on the Scientology Network, and episodes of the network’s original series Voices for Humanity to see the program in action. The Scientology Network is available on DIRECTV Channel 320, DIRECTV STREAM, AT&T U-verse, and streams at Scientology.tv, on mobile apps, and via the Roku, Amazon Fire, and Apple TV platforms.









News Source: Foundation for a Drug-Free World

Related link: https://www.drugfreeworld.org/

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