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Media Articles - 2000s

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16 December 2003
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Scientology drug rehab program claims 80% success rate

Mountain Democrat (California)
November 14, 2003


Three years ago, Stacey Payne was facing seven years in jail for cumulative charges of drug use, possession and intent to sell.

Payne was a college student living in Southern California managing a restaurant and married. But to distract her from her "freakin' problems," Payne said, she used cocaine and methamphetamines.

"I got into a world I never knew existed," she said.

She spent her mother's money and racked up a criminal record with items that will never be erased. She's gone through many drug rehabilitation programs, but always reverted back to her drug use -- even during the same day she left the courtroom.

But faced with seven years in jail, Payne's family researched for a better program -- one that will make a difference. They found Narconon.

The Narconon drug rehabilitation program is a nonprofit worldwide organization that focuses around residential physical and educational drug rehabilitation. Narconon students spend about four months bringing their bodies physically out of drug dependency, working on cognitive skill and eventually learning basic life management skill through a series of books, class work and counseling. After leaving the facility, they have to spend the next six months surviving the "real world" with a weekly check-in to Narconon.

It was founded in 1966 where fundamentals to the program were developed by author and founder of the Church of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard.

Payne's mother, Amy Rossman, said it was Narconon's high success rate that made it the best option for Payne. Narconon's program today, has almost an 80 percent success rate of men and women, young and old, who have changed their lives without the use of drugs.

Payne went through the program and finally succeeded in kicking her drug habit. She proved to the judge that jail time was not necessary.

Today Payne is running the Placerville Narconon program. It's been two-and-a-half years since she began with Narconon as a student and today, at 39, she helped put a 15-bed facility in Placerville. It's an expansion of the Northern California facility in Watsonville.

Payne was given a drawing of the Placerville location without any dimensions and was told to make it livable. Payne took an old senior care facility off of Wiltse Court, and turned it into a location where Narconon students can finish off the remaining months of their program.

The facility has been operating since June and has graduated 26 students.

Sitting in her leather chair that matches her executive desk in her private office, Payne wouldn't have ever thought she be where she is today.

"[The Narconon program] gives you that inner confidence," she said.

Payne said she loves the Placerville location and enjoys bringing the students to Sly Park Lake, bowling, the movies and even Tahoe when they're not studying.

In the future, Payne wants to expand a Narconon program to an adolescent restricted facility. She said she wants to help youth and their parents so that they may never go through what she and her family went through with her drug addiction.

As for a mother of a Narconon student, Rossman said, "I think it's a good program. It saved Stacey's life and for that I'm forever grateful."