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Media Articles - 2000s

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16 December 2003
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Narconon to train Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency

Manila Bulletin (Philippines)
September 30, 2003

'Narconon,' drug-free rehab program now in RP

A drug-free and inexpensive drug rehabilitation and prevention service was demonstrated to Filipino drug rehabilitation personnel recently. Instead of drugs, the center, called Narconon (meaning no drug), uses nutrition, assists, objective exercises, and training routines.

Usec. Anselmo S. Avenido Jr., Director General of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), recently invited Clark Carr, Narconon International president, and Dr. Nerida James, president of Narconon Australia, to conduct workshops and to present Narconons methodology before Filipino drug rehabilitation personnel at the PDEA Academy in Camp Crame, Quezon City.

I was impressed by Narconons package of rehabilitation services when I visited their headquarters in Los Angeles, USA, that I decided to invite Mr. Carr to come to the Philippines and conduct workshops for our drug rehabilitation personnel, Avenido said.

Ex-addicts initiative

Narconon began in 1966 through the efforts of Arizona State Prison inmate William Benitez, a hard-core addict from the age of 13, then serving his fourth prison term. He unsuccessfully tried numerous ways to kick his drug habit. That changed when Benitez came across a book by L. Ron Hubbard, one of the most acclaimed and widely read authors.

One of Hubbards interests was drug rehabilitation. Through extensive studies of vitamins, minerals and nutrition, he developed the means to help drug addicts come off drugs without the painful symptoms usually accompanying withdrawal.

Benitez said that when applied to a pilot group at Arizona State Penitentiary in 1996, it consisted only of basic communication exercises. Yet seven out of 10 of the first group, in their own words, made it. In 1967, prison officials granted permission for any inmate to join the group. By 1970, Benitez had been released from prison and had traveled to Los Angeles to assist in opening the national office of Narconon. In 1972, Narconon opened its first residential program. Today, there are 120 Narconon drug rehabilitation or drug prevention organizations located in 29 countries around the world.

First step

The Narconon First Step program is a drug-free, proven and effective technology that can help ease the withdrawal symptoms and pain experienced in coming off drugs. It is the first part of the full Narconon drug rehabilitation program. It utilizes methods and procedures developed by L. Ron Hubbard.

The program is designed to assist the individual to come off drugs through the use of nutritional supplements and certain procedures which help the person increase his ability to confront life and get more in communication with the environment, thereby easing and lessening the withdrawal symptoms.

Nutrition, including vitamin and mineral supplements, is the first component of the program. Research has found out that continued use of drugs speeds up the burning of vitamin reserves in ones system and can leave the person with severe deficiencies. These lost nutrients must be replaced during withdrawal or the person will continue to experience the discomforts brought about by these deficiencies.

The First Step also makes heavy use of assist. An assist is an action undertaken to help a person confront physical difficulties. Assists are a vital part of the Narconon First Step Program, as they help an individual handle the physical discomforts and pains that can accompany withdrawal from drugs.

Assists are easily done procedures that can be applied by anyone to help a person recover more rapidly from accidents, mild illnesses or upsets. These assists are designed to help prevent or lessen any muscle spasms, cramps or pain the person experiences during withdrawal and help to lessen his predisposition to remain in an intolerable condition.

The third component consists of light objective exercises designed to help the person look outward and get in touch with the environment around him.

Objective refers to outward things, not the thoughts or feelings of the individual. Objective exercises deal with the real and observable.

They are exercises done to help bring in a person into the present time by getting him to locate things in his environment.

The fourth component consists of communication training exercises called Training Routines (TRs). The TRs get the individual into better communication with others and the environment, a vital step in the rehabilitation.


Dr. Harry Lorenzo, professor of Psychology at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines and a practicing psychologist who uses integrated psychotherapy methods on problems such as drug addiction, said: Having observed its practice in action over a few days, I truly believe that if adopted in the Philippines, the Narconon program will ultimately solve the drug problem in the country.

Lorenzo is considering to include Narconon practices in his treatment programs, adding, Narconons practices without the use of drugs makes terrific sense to me, in addition to being appreciably cheaper. If this works as well in practice, Narconon could make obsolete several much less effective traditional treatment methods.

Rudin Gonzales, who intends to use the land he owns to open a drug rehabilitation facility, has decided to dedicate it to a Narconon facility. These workshops are indeed very timely and crucial in our common goal to eradicate the drug menace pervading in our country today, he said.