Letters: Seeing success fighting addiction
St. Petersburg Times (Florida)
April 15, 2003
I appreciate the fact that the St. Petersburg Times took an interest in our facility and published the acknowledgments of our successful program from several of our community leaders. Their wiliness to come forward on an issue which many people prefer to ignore is commendable. The article however omitted some important facts which I expressed to your reporter.
First, the reporter will recall that he spoke with several graduates of Narconon of different faiths and all of them had nothing but good to say about the program and the joy they felt with a new bright drug-free life. We have had many successful graduates who had tried different programs that didn't work who have gone on to lead productive drug-free lives after Narconon.
One gentleman who came through our program had a six figure income and got hooked on heroin. Within nine months he lost his home, vehicles, boat and job and became homeless, living on the streets. His day-to-day routine was to find some way to make a few bucks just to get his next fix. In three years he had been through four different rehabilitation centers and still could not get lasting help. He had lost hope. When he found Narconon he knew he could get his life back. Since he started the program he has been clean and is winning in life.
Second, the article suggests that there are no studies of the effectiveness of Narconon. There have been scientific studies both on the effectiveness of the overall program and the scientific results of the methodology developed by L. Ron Hubbard, which is used to rid people of addiction and the harmful effects of drugs. Many of these are available on the internet at http://www.detoxacademy.org, which I referred your reporter to.
Third the article stated there is no Narconon in the country that gets government funding. The reporter knows, as he spoke to persons involved with the program, that the state of Utah funds a Narconon licensed program, which has been very successful in helping addicts in the Utah probation program.
Narconon has also received help from government agencies in countries other than the United States. Narconon has been funded by the government in Sweden for more than 15 years. Similarly the Danish government funds the Narconon program. It has also been routine in many parts of the United States for courts to refer persons with criminal drug problems to Narconon as an alternative to prison sentencing. We are here to help people get off drugs and we will accept help from anyone to accomplish that aim.
Addiction is addiction, and until you have personally experienced the effort it takes to help someone come off drugs you have no idea how destructive it is. I made the decision to roll up my sleeves and put a program in place that I truly know can help people overcome their addictions. Families who have a drug addicted or dependent member know exactly what I am talking about. I invite anyone who wants to see what the Narconon program is about to come and tour our facility.
Cheryl A. Alderman, executive director, Narconon Florida