Vol. LXX No. 5 — May 1992

The Drug & Alcohol Abuse Problem

Lodges Can Help!

W.B. Lawrence J. Chisholm

Executive Director
National Masonic Foundation for Prevention of Drug and Alcohol Abuse Among Children

This STB is the third in a series of the Masonic Response to the devastating problem of drug and alcohol abuse among children. (See 5-87 and 1-89 STB). This Short Talk is specifically aimed at what individual lodges can do! However before undertaking any program please check with your Grand Lodge to see what may he doing on within your Grand Jurisdiction and what program your lodge could undertake that would best fit into an overall program within your state. We need to work together!

Freemasonry embodies the values that are needed to combat our nation's drug and alcohol abuse problem — belief in God, patriotic support for our country, and a full appreciation of and respect for others from all walks of life. It is only natural that Freemasons should feel the impulse to do something to help with youthful drug and alcohol abuse.

There is probably no one in this country who isn't aware of our nation's drug and alcohol abuse problem. There have been countless programs launched to address the problem in a variety of ways. From Nancy Reagan's "Just Say No" public awareness campaign, to local community treatment centers, to the solid community relations work of cops on the beat, there are many efforts already underway to stem the tide of drug and alcohol abuse. There are many things a Blue Lodge can do. However, a good idea and the best intentions are not always enough to increase awareness, raise money, or get participation in drug and alcohol abuse prevention. There are practical hurdles that must be overcome for a Blue Lodge's efforts to be successful. Here's a checklist of some of the questions that should be asked and answered before embarking on a drug and alcohol abuse prevention related effort.

To get a sense for the importance of these questions, consider some of the observations of R.W. William V. Quackenbush, Second Queens (NY) Masonic District, who, after marching in a "Just Say No to Drugs" Parade, thought a poster contest in the public schools in his area would be a great way to help convince kids to stay away from drugs and alcohol. According to Brother Quackenbush, the following points are important to running a successful poster or essay contest:

What kinds of programs can a Blue Lodge sponsor to help with the drug and alcohol abuse problem? Here are some ideas. Many of the programs listed below have already been sponsored by Grand Lodges. Many can be done on a smaller scale by Blue Lodges or Blue Lodges can work with their GrandLodges in support of these kinds of programs.

For a set of publications describing these and other Masonic programs that are fighting the drug abuse battle, contact the National Masonic Foundation.

If you have, or have an idea for, a program, let us know at the National Masonic Foundation, 1629 K St., NW, Suite 606, Washington, DC 20006.

The Masonic Service Association of North America