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January 2016 Archives


When I was younger I saw a lot of kids my age turning to drugs to help handle what they thought were life’s greatest challenges. At that time it may seem like a solution, but what I observed was that getting high or drunk just made the original problem worse and created new ones. The more problems got created, the more they had to lie and create another problem, until one day it was impossible for them to see the original problem they had been trying to solve.

Kids need good role models. They need to become good problem solvers. They need adults who actually take time to tell them the truth about drugs and life. I decided in my teens that I would become one of those adults. Now I volunteer for several youth human rights and anti-drug nonprofit groups.

I chose to support Narconon because they get out there and tell kids the actual truth about drugs. They don’t try to scare kids, they just get them facts that kids can think with and make good decisions. Narconon also teaches parents how to talk to their own and other kids about drugs. And then do that in a way that kids will listen, and look and make different choices.

I get asked about current drug issues like medical marijuana and legalization and I say, get the facts. The fact is that the chemical in pot that helps handle physical pain and has anti-seizure properties has been extracted and is available in pill and tincture form. Why don’t parents or cancer patients just use this easily prescribed and monitored form? Hmmm….makes you look at the facts. Who is making money on selling the idea that weed needs to be available to everyone. And that it’s “Healthy” to smoke weed. The truth is out there, just really go look.

So why do I run? Why do I volunteer? Because I want to help kids be able to think and observe facts and make good decisions. I believe in a better future and we as adults have a responsibility to help the next generations….that’s why I run….walking is too slow!


Filed under News #

withdrawal-story-mjWhen I got here 8 days ago I was weak, unsure about things, and completely ready to die. I thought I just didn’t have the strength to do another detox. After the worst of the detox I started to feel the sunshine on my skin again and the laughter that life gives freely. I plan to gain so much more from this program and from this gift of life that I have been given. I’ve realized I would like to help others with their difficulties because I’ve been there and done almost everything out on the streets and I know that there is so much more to life than giving up and just being ready to die!

I’m ready to start a new chapter!


Filed under Success Stories #


Article taken from the Tampa Bay Magazine January/February 2016 issue:

Sitting on seven acres, the new Narconon facility in Clearwater is designed to deliver Narconon’s technology that uses specially designed spaces for drug-free withdrawal. Here, they offer one-on-one care and personalized attention that may be needed to accomplish long-term success.

The students who enroll in this program learn to live drug-free lives, as they are provided with the stability and comfort they need to enable them to become free of their addictions and to rebuild their lives without a dependency on drugs.

A critical step in this program is their New Life Detoxification area that features a fitness center and saunas to help students sweat out the toxic drug residues that tend to drive their cravings to return to their former state. Proper nutrition and rest during this phase of the program is essential. The next step is the Life Skills courses that are designed to build the students’ knowledge so that they can lead a successful drug-free life.


The long-term success of this program is dependent upon the students’ abilities to relax and rebuild that this environment nurtures. Rest and nutritious dining help to speed recovery, as students repair themselves in this stress-free environment.

The need for this type of treatment for addicts becomes increasingly obvious each day, as we see more and more individuals going through rehab programs and then, within a short time, reverting back to their previous problems. Obviously, the only way to determine if a particular program is effective is to be able to measure the results by the number of graduates that do not return to their addictions over an extended period of time. Temporary solutions turn out to be no solution at all. If Narconon has developed systems that, in fact, do have lasting benefits, then they may well be what is needed to help this ever-growing problem of addiction that seems to be overpowering many of today’s youth.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Narconon Suncoast is located at 1390 Sunset Point
Road in Clearwater, (877) 841-5509. For more information, visit


PDF version:


Filed under News #

Before doing the Narconon program, my life was in shambles. I had come close to dying several times and wasn’t shaken by it. I was so unhappy with who I was as an individual, that dying didn’t scare me enough to want to change.

I was the kind of person who didn’t care about anyone. If you were someone I could exploit, I would exploit you. It didn’t matter if you were family or not. My addiction had gotten to the point where there were no lines or boundaries. I wasn’t that person deep down, but that’s what I had to do to keep feeding my habit. Knowing that I wasn’t that person, but doing it anyway made me want to run and hide even more. I was going nowhere fast and exhausted by the everyday grind of screwing people over. I had toyed with the idea of rehab many times, but always figured it would never be a doable thing for me and I couldn’t swallow my pride enough to go and have everyone know I had a drug problem, even though they already knew.

When I told my parents I needed to go to rehab, I was just blowing smoke to get them off my back. The next day, my mom came and asked me if I was serious about seeking treatment and told me that she and my dad had found a place called Narconon. They told me a little about it, but all I really knew was I needed to go. I told her that I did want help. Immediately I then thought, “What have I gotten myself into?” I was emotionally distraught, but my Dad told me to take the time to work on me and find my way.

When I arrived at Narconon, I didn’t know what to think, but for the first time in a long time, I felt peace. I was shocked by how nice everyone was and how genuine they were. As I went through the withdrawal, I began to realize the beauty of living a healthy, sober life. It was the first time I had been sober in a long time. I was quietly overwhelmed with excitement. All I could think about was getting out of withdrawal and changing my life.

After about a week in withdrawal, I started my sauna detox program. In sauna, I detoxed my body and it felt amazing. I then moved onto the objectives part of the program and became aware of myself and my environment. As drug addicts, we develop blinders to both physical objects and mental things. The objectives program peeled these blinders off. I also learned the importance of being in present time, not dwelling on the past, nor worrying about the future. This helped me a lot.

I then moved onto the Life Skills part of the program where I learned how to tell which kind of people I needed to surround myself with. I also learned how to deal with all the bad things I had done. It felt amazing to get the negative baggage off my chest and actually handle what I had done. During the final parts of the program, I was able to see the issues which had negatively affected every aspect of my life. With that information, I was able to address those issues and take the exact steps to bettering myself.

rehab-integrity-wordNarconon taught me how to be a man of great integrity and to be a man of my word. They helped me bring out the Cameron that’s always been in me. I’ve never been more proud of myself than when I decided to come to Narconon. It was the best decision of my life and I recommend it to anyone who wants to better themselves and their life.

Narconon didn’t give me my life back. It gave me a better life. It made me the man I always wanted to be; not only for me, but for my family and loved ones.

Filed under Success Stories #

Heroin despair -- cost of addiction

How does one calculate the cost of an addiction to heroin? Certainly there is a cost in dollars. But the actual price paid extends much further than that. Its felt throughout ones life, relationships, standing in the community and physical and mental health. Lets look at the whole phenomenon of heroin addiction and evaluate the price thats paid.

Heroin users typically report feeling a rushof pleasurable sensations after taking the drug. The degree of this rush varies by how much of the drug is taken and how quickly the drug enters the brain. Injecting will cause the rush to occur suddenly and most intensely. Snorting heroin will cause the rush to be somewhat less intense and a little slower.

After the initial rush, the side effects of heroin include dry mouth, nausea, vomiting and a heaviness in the arms and legs. The user experiences a slowed heart rate and slowed breathing, sometimes dangerous enough to be life-threatening. If a person lacks oxygen to his (or her) brain long enough, he can suffer a coma and permanent brain damage. These short-term effects can happen during the very first use.

The long-term effects created by heroin include damage to the physical structure of the brain. Studies of the brains of heroin users have documented this deterioration of brain tissue. This damage can affect the users decision-making abilities, his ability to regulate his own behavior or his response to stressful situations.

The more a person uses heroin, the more his body becomes accustomed to the drug. He will need to use more of the drug more often just to achieve the any of the euphoria he initially experienced. This phenomenon is referred to as a toleranceto the drug. Eventually, a heroin user is just consuming the drug to keep from going into withdrawal and no longer experiences any euphoria or pleasure from it.

The increased use that accompanies an increased tolerance boosts the risk of infectious diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis B and C, bacterial infections, collapsed veins and infection of the heart lining and valves.

When a person consistently uses the drug, cant control his use and has developed a tolerance, he is addicted. If he stops using the drug, he will experience severe withdrawal symptoms.

The price to purchase heroin varies from state to state and whether a buyer lives in an urban or a rural area. On average, it costs about $15 to $20 per tenth of a gram. When a person becomes addicted, its easy to go through a gram each day. In New York, a person addicted to heroin might be burning through $100 a day, and in Florida, he might need $150 a day to maintain his habit. At this point, many people have to resort to theft, prostitution or other illegal activities to support the addiction.

In some areas, heroin is being cut (diluted) with a prescription painkiller called fentanyl. While fentanyl has long been used as a painkiller in hospitals, the fentanyl being used to cut heroin today is usually manufactured in illicit drug labs which means the costs are very low. This means the drug dealer can make his supply of heroin go farther and make more money. No matter where its manufactured, fentanyl is vastly stronger than heroin. Even experienced heroin users are being killed by this adulterant.

So what is the cost of heroin addiction? Heroin causes physical, sometimes irreversible, damage to the structure of the brain, slowed heart rate and breathing, coma and death. Theres the increased risk of HIV, Hepatitis B and C, collapsed veins and heart infections. Financially, heroin may cost a user as much as $50,000 per year, which increases their risk of incarceration if they get caught committing crimes or buying the drug. If this is not shocking enough, the biggest cost of heroin addiction is the life of the addict.

With each use the person is playing roulette with his or her life. That is the biggest cost of heroin use — the life of the user. If you or someone you know uses heroin, please get help now because the next time they use this drug could be their last.

Filed under News #

Prescription drug abuse rate increasing

In 2010, Florida became the acknowledged epicenter of a criminal enterprise that distributed addictive painkiller prescriptions by the hundreds of thousands. According to the Florida Attorney General, pain management clinics numbered 900 that year, many of them existing only to rake in millions of dollars as they gave out as many pills as possible every day. Judging by the license plates on cars in the parking lots of these centers, “patients” were coming from the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic states to acquire drugs they could take home and sell on the street.

Finally, the state changed the laws and Purdue Pharma, manufacturer of one of the most popular drugs of all OxyContin, reformulated the pill to make it much harder to abuse. Quickly, pain management clinics nicknamed “pill mills” began to disappear.

As painkillers became less available, those addicted began to discover heroin would keep them from suffering withdrawal sickness. And so, the migration from painkillers to heroin began.

Based on statistics from a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report, people who become addicted to painkillers are forty times more likely to abuse heroin. Thus as the overprescribing pill mills shut down, many people who had become addicted to pills found new drug dealers offering cartel-produced heroin, mostly from Mexico. The number of heroin users skyrocketed, with cartels responding by increasing the quantity of the heroin brought into the country and dropping the price.

Heroin and prescription painkillers are nearly the same chemicals. Heroin and morphine are opiates, products refined from resin that oozes from seed pods of opium poppies. Opioids are fully or partially-synthetic drugs chemically very close to heroin. Prescription drugs like OxyContin, Vicodin, Fentanyl, Percocet, Demerol and Darvon are the most commonly prescribed opioid drugs.

The CDC reported that between 2007 and 2013, the number of people using heroin in the US increased 150%. The overdose deaths increased more than 400% over that same time period.

NIDA's graph on the national overdose deaths

Noting these staggering figures, officials at every level of government began trying to understand how prescription drug abuse starts and how best to prevent it. They started by surveying people to find out how they got started abusing painkillers. The majority of users surveyed under 18 said they were given a painkiller by someone they knew. The next highest initial exposure was from prescriptions given for valid dental or medical conditions. Teens who started their drug abuse early were found to have stolen their first pills from medicine cabinets. Many teenaged athletes have also become addicted to pain medication given to them after sports injuries.

These findings led to major prevention policy initiatives by federal, state and local agencies regarding prescription drug abuse education programs. Since the prescription abuse epidemic and its companion heroin epidemic showing no signs of slowing down, prevention and education has come to the forefront at all levels. Federal officials at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) are again pointing to prevention and education on opiates and opioid addiction as the number one way to slow or reverse these staggering trends.

The ONDCP recently stated “the simplest and most cost-effective way to lower the human and societal costs of drug abuse is to prevent it in the first place.” Similarly, the Director for the National Institute for Drug Abuse recently reported to Congress that if one can increase perception of risk in youth through education, drug use will drop.

In 2009, the Drug Enforcement Administration, in conjunction with local law enforcement officials, began local “take-back” programs in communities across the country. The basic premise was simple: collect unneeded prescription drugs and dispose of them properly so there are fewer in circulation to abuse. The DEA now sponsors two national Prescription Drug Take-back days each year to help empty medicine cabinets across the country.

Additionally, Narconon published the popular “Ten Things Your Friends May Not Know About Prescription Drugs” and started a successful national distribution. This hard-hitting, factual booklet gives parents, educators and kids simple facts on prescription drug abuse and prevention. Copies are available for download at

White House Office of National Drug Control Policy
National Institute for Drug Abuse
National Center for Health Statistics, CDC


Related article:

What is the Cost of Heroin Addiction?

Filed under News #

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