People helping people
March 07, 2001
President Bush's proposal to partner government with faith-based programs presents a challenge. With or without government support, it is imperative that such programs show a track record of delivering what they promise.
One such program is Narconon, meaning "no drugs." It started as a grass-roots movement in the mid-1960s when an inmate in the Arizona State Prison solved his own drug addiction using the principles in a book by L. Ron Hubbard. He then used what he learned to help solve drug-related problems of many of his fellow inmates. Today, Narconon also conducts broad public education campaigns to alert the public, especially schoolchildren, to the dangers of drug use and abuse.
According to studies, 65 percent to 85 percent of Narconon's graduates remain off drugs two years after the program. Most other programs have a 15 percent success rate.
The president's initiative will succeed to the extent that the emphasis is placed on results. There are countless examples of programs supported by churches that have a proven track record. I applaud Bush for recognizing these important resources.