Letters: Proven programs for troubled youth are desperate for funds
The Vancouver Sun (Canada)
November 5, 2003
I am relieved to see that others are also acknowledging what I've known since I first started using drugs 26 years ago. I haven't used illicit drugs for 19 years, but I still regret using any, especially pot.
Drugs are the strongest undertow in the world. In the late summer of 1999, I decided to do something about the tides of young people flowing into the Downtown Eastside looking for dope. I saw them getting younger and younger but looking older and worse every cycle.
I began sharing the most effective, drug-free detox and rehab program in the world -- Narconon, a comprehensive program that includes drug prevention education.
Sharing my incredible find with health authorities was fruitless. I naively wrote and left messages for the mayor, councillors, health authority, MLAs, other health ministry-sponsored prevention centres in Vancouver -- you name it.
I expected to be welcomed: I was often scorned. It seemed to me that drug addiction made others besides the addicts crazy. I continued.
I have sent 29 people to Narconon for detox/rehab -- the majority are now clean -- and talked to kids at dozens of schools here and in several states. The majority of young people report they decided not to use drugs from then on.
This month, the Richmond Alcohol and Drug Action Team is coordinating at least a dozen Action steps to help prevent and treat drug abuse. On Nov. 13 at 6 p.m. at the Richmond Cultural Centre, I will deliver a free First Step seminar.
Something can be done about addiction. One doesn't have to be a victim to a slow administration anymore.