COMMERCE, Calif. — Volunteers from Bridge Publications Inc. are extending their drug education and prevention outreach to the city of Commerce, California’s, truck drivers with a drug education initiative supported by the Church of Scientology, according to a news release.
The program is called the Truth About Drugs.
The City of Commerce, like its name, is a hub of international commerce. Trucks travel from across the country, as well as from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, to pick up and deliver goods to businesses and rail yards in this vibrant area. It is not unusual to see fleets of semis driving down the main streets.
Trucks move 73% of the nation’s freight, and truckers pay $29 billion dollars a year in state and federal fuel taxes.
“Truckers are vital to the economy of the United States, but with that responsibility comes inherent stress: pressure to get to their destination on time, to keep moving and to stay awake,” the news release stated. “In a society where drugs are promoted as the solution to these kinds of problems, truck drivers are at risk of putting their lives — and the lives of others — in danger.”
A meta-analysis of previous studies on the subject showed 27.6 % of truckers reported using drugs, with the most common drugs being cocaine and methamphetamine. In another meta-analysis, a statistically significant number of truckers had harmful patterns of alcohol consumption.
Bridge Publications Inc., publisher of bestselling author and humanitarian L. Ron Hubbard’s nonfiction works, was alerted to this issue by a former trucker, Pedro, who now owns his own business in Commerce not far from Bridge’s manufacturing plant. Pedro did not wish to use his last name in an interview.
Earlier this year, Bridge volunteers invited Pedro to join them in a neighborhood cleanup. He has continued to work with these volunteers in other community outreach projects. Pedro later confided to the volunteers his concerns that former colleagues’ lives had been adversely affected by alcohol abuse. He asked if they would be willing help local truck drivers with their drug education and prevention initiative.
The volunteers took Pedro’s suggestion and reached out to local drivers at a popular truck stop on Washington Boulevard.
“The drivers appreciated the Bridge volunteers sharing Truth About Drugs educational materials,” the news release stated. “The booklets contain the unvarnished truth about the most commonly used drugs and their harmful effects on the body and mind. They handed out more than a thousand booklets to truckers, who expressed their appreciation and took booklets on the road with them.”
“This is a very important job that you’re doing,” said one of the drivers. Another asked for information on cocaine and was given The Truth About Cocaine booklet.
The manager of a neighboring body shop told the Bridge staff that he’s seen truckers he believed were abusing drugs and alcohol. He took sets of the booklets to display and to pass out to his customers.
“Some of these guys drink alcohol and they become a liability,” a front desk clerk of a tire shop said. “They are like an accident waiting to happen.”
She thanked Bridge for bringing her these materials and kept several booklets to give out.
Pedro thanked the Bridge volunteers who shared the positive feedback they received from their outreach. Pedro appreciated their following through on his suggestion and he kept booklets to hand out to his own customers.
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.