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Media Articles - 2000s

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16 December 2003
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Charity's helping hand to rebuild addicts' lives

Peeblesshire News (UK)
December 5, 2003

By Craig Finlay

LOCAL drug addicts are being offered the chance to get clean and rebuild their lives courtesy of a newly established charity in West Linton.

The Narconon "FIRST STEP" programme is a drug-free, proven and effective technology that can help to ease the withdrawal symptoms and pain associated with coming off drugs.

The programme is conducted as a two-day workshop where the drug addict and a responsible drug-free friend or family member, attend and learn how to apply the drug-free withdrawal methods themselves.

Follow-up guidance and instruction are also provided to help them apply the skills learned in the workshop.

The local charity is currently being run by husband and wife, David and Eve McKenzie, and their assistant Baronica.

Working from home, the couple are currently in the process of raising funds to build a detox centre.

Despite working full-time in other fields, Eve and David dedicate every minute of their spare time to helping others through the Narconon programme.

Eve, who is Executive Director of Narconon Scotland, told the "Peeblesshire News" how she aims to help local addicts regain control of their lives.

She said: "We don't take any addicts at our home because there are no facilities there but we can train a non-addicted or responsible person to help get their friend or relative off drugs in their own home, at their own pace, using the Narconon techniques - we have been very successful at that."

She continued: "I was a 13-year heroin addict over 21 years ago until I was introduced to the Narconon programme, but it wasn't as available then as it is today.

"After the programme had helped me get on with rebuilding my life I came to the stage where I wanted to use my experience to help others.

"Most young addicts don't actually seek help until they are in their early twenties, but we can help people of any age from any background - in total confidence.

"The more I look around and the more I see, the more I find that people are terribly hopeless about this situation.

"It is said that drug addiction is an awful disease and that nothing can be done about it but I am a living testament to the fact that it can be defeated.

"We believe that we have solutions within the Narconon programme that are very workable and will provide people with skills for life," she added.

According to Eve, the Narconon programme is designed not only to get addicts off the drugs, but also to help them settle back into the communities and families they temporarily left behind.

She explained: "There are many facilities for a certain kind of help but there are not that many facilities to actually get addicts off drugs and get their lives back in order so that they can be part of a family and part of a community without being destructive - in my mind that should be the end result of drug rehabilitation."

In support of the charity's work in the field of drug rehabilitation and education, the popular UK jive and swing band, The Jive Aces, are to play live and accompanied by professional dancers at the Burgh Hall, Peebles, on New Year's Eve.

Eve commented: "We've had so little help up to now with funding for this programme that we are over the moon with this offer from the Jive Aces.

"It's going to be a great party and we hope that people in Peebles and round about will swing into the New Year with us.

Ian Clarkson, Leader of the Jive Aces, said: "We played at the anniversary of the biggest Narconon Drug Rehabilitation Centre in the world - Arrowhead, in the USA just recently.

"Hearing all these people tell their stories of how their lives had been literally ruined and then, through this programme they were saved, moved us more than anything we've ever seen.

"We are definitely supporting Narconon, any time," he added.

Tickets for the event are now being sold and are available from Whitie's Newsagents, High Street, Peebles.