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One of our esteemed staff members, John, recounts the life he once lived and how the Narconon program set him on the path to ultimate success!

Here is his story:


staff successFlash back, its 2012 and here we go again. Every day was the same… Wake up, smoke a cigarette, take a shower and get ready for the day. For me, my day started much later than most. Usually around one or two in the afternoon. I would wake up, usually hung over from whatever I had put into my body the night before, usually wearing whatever clothes I passed out in on whatever couch I fell down on. I was a drug addict and from a small coal mining town of 8,000 people in Southwestern Pennsylvania that no one has ever heard of, although you could probably find it on a map if you looked hard enough.

When I was growing up, drugs weren’t a thing. No one I was around wanted to do them, knew much about them or really knew anyone that could even get them for you, even if you wanted to try them. That was when I was 15. By the time I was 16 all that had changed. Everywhere I would look, I could find whatever drug I wanted in whatever amount I wanted. By this time, I had my first job, my first car and was a good student in high school. All of a sudden, I found myself hanging out with an older crowd of friends. They were the type of friends that you only hear about in country songs. People that were from a small town and knew more about you than you did. Most of them were into drugs and drinking. Before I knew it, I had taken my first OxyContin and was off to the races. I quickly decided that I liked the lifestyle. Work hard, play harder! Spend your money on whatever you wanted. I mean, I wasn’t hurting anyone. Right?

Jump forward to age 18. Its 2009 moving into 2010 and I am a senior in High School. I am also a full-blown drug addict. My life was spiraling out of control and honestly, I didn’t care. I was way too busy partying and worrying about how much money I was going to make in tips that night after school at the local pizza shop to buy my dope. By this time I had become so good at lying and manipulating that it was like a favorite past time of mine. The people I went to school with were going off to college and some were getting good jobs in the oilfield or the coal mines of Greene County. I was going off to college too. Youngstown State University was where I was headed. I was going to major in Music Education. I quickly failed out and returned home to a town now completely impoverished and riddled with drugs and drug addicts. All of the industry that was there just a year and a half earlier was now gone. New EPA Regulations on coal and oilfield jobs outsourced to guys from Texas had killed the economy. I fit right in. After a bout with college and joining a fraternity I was now a full blown alcoholic as well.

I made it a year before I knew I needed to do something. I went to rehab near Pittsburgh. It was based on the 12 Steps of Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous. It was the only method of drug and alcohol rehab that I had ever heard of. I hated it. I had to convince myself every day that I was weak and absolutely powerless over my addiction. It seemed to me that I would have to live the rest of my life in fear of even going to a restaurant that served alcohol. As a matter of fact, I was told that I shouldn’t do that for the first year of my “recovery”. I felt like I didn’t have any other choice but to conform or I was just going to go off and die in a hole in the ground some place! I went home from that rehabilitation center and relapsed that night. The cycle started over again… immediately.

I used for another year. It’s now 2013. This time, I fell out and almost died. I was in the bathroom that I shared with my dad in my family’s house. I shot up and don’t remember anything but waking up on the floor in a pool of my vomit. I got up, cleaned off my face and made sure I didn’t leave a mess. All I could think about was how mad my dad was going to be if I left a mess in that bathroom and wondered if I had any dope left. I left the house, got high again in the driveway and went to work. It was a wake-up call for me. I had destroyed my relationships with everyone. I was getting into fights and throwing tantrums. My parents didn’t like me very much. I mean, who would?

I stole almost everything they owned and sold everything I did. I had a friend that I was staying with; he and I used together off and on for years. He told me he was going to go to treatment again. He went to Narconon Suncoast in Florida. He completed the program and really got his life together. I decided that it was time for a change. I talked to my parents and they agreed to help me and invest in my future one last time.

I came to Narconon Suncoast on July 3rd, 2013. I was beaten, broken and had given up on every aspect of my life. Narconon helped me change that. They didn’t want to make me feel weak. They wanted to make me feel strong and empower me to life my life drug-free. Narconon did that for me. They helped me repair the problems I had with my family and with authority. They helped me get organized. For the first time in years I was finally able to be in complete control of myself and my actions. This was very different from the impulsiveness that used to control my life.

After all of this time, I will never forget that small town. That town, those people and that life of work hard and play harder helped shaped my drug addiction. But, if it weren’t for Narconon…I may have never met the real me.

John L.

Be Drug Free For GoodNarconon Suncoast operates on the principal that anyone can end their addiction, become more responsible and create a new drug-free life.  We also believe addiction is neither inherited nor an incurable disease requiring indefinite treatment.  For over 50 years, Narconon has been helping people end their addictions without the use of replacement medications.  Full recovery is possible.

Each graduate leaves with a detailed aftercare plan for the following six months of their life, mapping out the steps they need to take to build a drug-free life.  This individualized aftercare program and two-year follow-up helps the majority of graduates remain sober and successful in creating the best life yet.

One of the reasons graduates are able to maintain their sobriety is because they leave with a detailed aftercare plan which the graduate officer helps them complete.   By the time they complete the program, they have had the opportunity to examine all the elements of a good, sober life, even what an exceptional life would look like now that they are free of the bondage of their addictions.  The majority of graduates report being able to create lives they never thought possible before.

Another thing that sets the Narconon Program apart from other recovery programs is we do not believe relapse is part of recovery.  Instead we focus on the steps needed to help create sobriety and build the solid, drug-free life that the students have envisioned for themselves.  Since you get what you put your attention on in life, why not focus on the good things and strengthen those areas?  This includes the successful recovery action of learning what it takes to confront the not-so-good parts of life and how to handle those influences.

Along with knowing what they want their recovered life to look like, the Narconon program helps graduates create a good external support system.  During the Life Skills courses, the student will learn to identify the positive people who have similar goals and are true friends.  Being able to look at who they hung around with and who they want to hang around with in the future, is a very eye-opening exercise. Especially when examined against the backdrop of the damage they had previously done to themselves and others when they didn’t choose to hang around with people who truly “had their backs.”  It is amazing to see how quickly someone’s life turns around and how successful they can be when they associate with social people who have similar, successful life goals.

This is also the point where the graduate gets to apply, in real life, the new communication skills they’ve learned at Narconon.  Graduates often report back how they were able to handle with certainty and confidence a person who used to create problems for them. Most families notice a distinct difference in how their loved one speaks with them and more importantly, how they listen.  Communication skills are practiced throughout the program with the end result of someone who can express their interests, get people interested in similar goals and create their best lives yet.

Creating the ideal scene in life is not always an easy process.  It takes perseverance and dedication to goals and a willingness to work on a sober future every day.

Filed under News #



Getting a loved one to agree to enter into a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program, at first, can seem to be an uphill battle.

Some addicts become so completely ruined by their drug and alcohol abuse that entering into treatment offers a much needed reprieve from their agonizing lifestyle. There are other’s, however, who completely reject the idea of rehabilitation, are in complete denial of their problem and fear the idea of facing life without being high or drunk.

With their whole lives crumbling around them, many addicts’ families beg and plead with their loved one to get help and to take control of their lives. When faced with strong resistance, families become overwhelmed and frustrated, not knowing the appropriate way to handle the situation.

“Should we kick her out?”

“Do we turn our backs on our only son?”

“Well, he can stay at home. If he’s going to use I’d rather him be here in case he overdoses.”

The common dilemma for many families is not knowing how to handle a loved one who won’t get help. Once a wall is hit and nothing is working, families find themselves conceding to their loved one and no help is gotten.

The above video lists 10 basic steps to get a loved one to accept help and enter in a rehabilitation program. It is no easy task by any means and the advice laid out in the video may prove helpful to many families in need.

Filed under News #

drug educationHillsborough County, FL , April 24th, 2016 – Narconon Suncoast staff met with a group of foster children in Hillsborough County to educate them on the truth about drugs, goal setting and how to attain happiness in life. The children received educational materials detailing the dangers of drug use and participated in an interactive presentation on what drugs are and how they affect the body and mind. The presentation created a lively discussion about the use of drugs to solve problems in life and what it takes to confront the daily issues faced by teens. The youth were intrigued by the amount of inaccurate information they had, specifically about marijuana.

In the past twenty years drug and alcohol addiction has had a dramatic effect on the foster care system. More children now than ever are entering into the foster care system either because their birth parents were addicts, resulting in their placement outside of the home. Also, there is a recent disturbing trend of foster care children who are using drugs and becoming addicted despite the reason for their being in foster care being substance abuse. During a recent survey 56% of surveyed foster children reported using illicit narcotics. Most of these foster children continue their drug use after they “age out” of the system, halting their education and hindering their chances of finding jobs. This essentially leads to a rise in homelessness and criminality, filling our jails and institutions with individuals whose addictions could have been prevented (

Narconon Suncoast is a non-profit drug and alcohol rehabilitation and education center licensed by the state of Florida. Narconon Suncoast was founded in 2008 and recently relocated to a lush, 7-acre property in Clearwater, FL.

If you or someone you know is struggling with drugs or alcohol and would like more information please visit or call 888-968-2124.

Filed under News #

medicine take back


This Saturday, April 30th from 10:00am- 2:00pm

Two Locations in North Pinellas County

  • Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, North District Station 737 Louden Avenue, Dunedin
  • Clearwater Police Department, 27001 US Hwy 19 North, (Countryside Mall near LA Fitness)

Clearwater, FL –Narconon Suncoast Rehabilitation Center announces the 11th Annual Operation Medicine Cabinet for unused or unwanted prescription drugs. This national event sponsored by the DEA and state and local law enforcement will take place on April 30th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. In North Pinellas County, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, Pinellas County Police Department, and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public its 11th opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.

Narconon has been a proud participant in the DEA’s Take-back days since it began a “Clean-Up Your Medicine Cabinet” campaign with local law enforcement agencies in Atlanta, GA in 2008.

In North Pinellas County you can bring your pills for disposal to Dunedin and Countryside locations for proper disposal. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

At last September’s national event, Americans turned in 350 tons (over 702,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at more than 5,000 sites operated by the DEA and more than 3,800 of its state and local law enforcement partners.  Overall, in its 10 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 5.5 million pounds—more than 2,750 tons—of pills.

The Take Back Rx Drug initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue.  Medicines that stored in home cabinets often become the target for misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.  Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends for initial use and the place they are most often obtained by addicts under the age of 25. Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—pose potential environmental safety and health hazards.

For more information about the proper disposal of prescription drugs or about the April 30th Take Back Day event, go to the DEA Diversion website  or call Narconon Suncoast’s Director of Community Affairs.

If you know someone who has become addicted to prescription drugs and would like a confidential addiction interview, an intake counselor can be reached 24 hours a day

at (877) 841-5509.

Narconon Suncoast is a state-of-the-art, long-term residential treatment program that has been helping those addicted to drugs and alcohol get sober for over 10 years. The Narconon program has been the leader in holistic, drug-free rehabilitation for over fifty years. Addiction can be treated for long-term sobriety and a lifetime of success.  Call us to find out how we can help.

Narconon Suncoast

1390 Sunset Point Raod

Clearwater, FL 33755

(727) 304-4176

Filed under News #

Family successWhen I came to Narconon I had been taking painkillers for two years.  When I got into withdraw I felt rotten, but the staff were there for me to help me through the process and feel better.  Next I started sauna and was looking forward to sweating some of the toxins out of my body.  By week two of the sauna I noticed a big change and started to sleep peacefully through the night.  I was feeling like myself again, the way I did before I started using drugs.

When I got to the Life Skills program I felt normal again, actually like I was 15 again, before I had done drugs.  Sitting down one on one with the ethics staff helped me realize a lot of things about myself.  It helped me be able to communicate honestly with my wife.  I also realized that I had been being a selfish person who didn’t really care about anyone else but me.  Getting to look at my life, I was able to find out the reasons why I use drugs.  I got to talk with my wife and find out what she really needs and wants from me when I get home.

I am confident that I can use this information in my everyday life to do what’s right for me and my family. I know I can leave Narconon and go back home and be successful with my life!


Nicole successWhen I first came to Narconon I was a wreck. I was miserable emotionally and physically. I had been an addict for years with no hope of ever stopping. When I got to the sauna part of the program I was really excited to the take the next step in my recovery.

Now, just four weeks later, I feel like a new person. I can’t remember a time when I’ve felt this good! Taking vitamins everyday plus sweating in the sauna helped me to sweat all the drugs out of my body. I now look and feel like I’m on top of the world!!!

N. K.

Student successWhen I came to Narconon I didn’t know what to expect. After arriving, I started the process of repairing myself and my life. I began understanding reality again which was something I’ve been out of for a while. After the sauna detox I felt like a completely different person physically and mentally. The objectives course was very interesting and I got a lot out of it. I learned how to live in the present and to control my surrounding environment.

During the life skills section of the program things started becoming very real for me and I was able to get to the core root of my problems. I handled the important relationships in my life that I had destroyed. I was able to open up and be my real self again and I was able to drain all the repressed guilt I had due to all my wrongdoings in the past. I was eventually able to find myself. I had lost myself many years before and now I’m back! I am now comfortable with who I am, honest with myself and I respect myself.

Most importantly, I’m happy again!

J. O.

success at narcononWhen I first came to Narconon Suncoast I felt like a boat lost in the middle of the sea.  I was going through life without motivation to achieve any of my purposes.  I spent a lot of time escaping or trying to escape reality and my problems by getting high.

I arrived in the Withdrawal part of the program very worried, but I was glad that I had made the decision to come handle my drug problem. The withdrawal techniques helped to quiet my mind and helped me focus on just being here and getting help.

In the Sauna detox portion of the program, I started to feel a lot better physically.  My body started to feel renewed and my cravings began to fade.  Next I started the Objectives, which were designed to help me focus on being here now.  The Objectives Course was a big deal for me.  The effect they had on me was amazing.  My mind literally regained its full speed of thinking.  I recovered a lot of my memory and my reaction time became really fast!

The remaining Life Skills courses were great because I realized all the harm I had caused and the dangerous things I had done to myself and my loved ones.  Most importantly, I learned an effective way to stop doing harmful things and how to impact my environment positively.  It was pretty simple, but it changed me for life!  Staying away from harmful people and situations, keeping my own ethics in, being self-disciplined (and really knowing what that is) and finally finding how to follow my own purpose.  This was big because I am being true to myself now and not what others want of me.

During my time on the Narconon program I met a lot of staff and students and consider them my friends. I thank them all for helping me on my program and look forward to meeting you all again in my bright future.


Heroin Rehab Success


” I Found My True Self “

I came to Narconon with an open mind and no expectations other than to get clean of opiates. I didn’t realize how amazing the program would be and how life changing my journey through the program would be.

When I arrived I was told what Narconon was all about and I didn’t want to believe that the program would work. I had this thought in my head that the only reason I was here was to get off of heroin and that other drugs would still be acceptable. I was proven wrong.

My entire outlook has changed and I have found my true self. I am only 20, but I have been using drugs and alcohol to create this imaginary “happy” place in my mind for half of my life. I continued to repress all of my negative thoughts and emotions behind this barricade that I made out of drugs. I was literally trapped in a cage in my own head, and step by step through this program, I have broken free. Looking back now, I realize that I had no self-confidence, low self-esteem and this thought in my head that I just couldn’t do any better than I was doing. Man, was I wrong. I can be anything I want to be and I can do anything I want once I set my mind to it.

I’m now determined and motivated to succeed and better my life. I feel better and more clear minded than I ever have. Prior to the program I was destroying myself one day at a time. Although I was a full-time student and had a 35 hour per week work schedule, my focus was on drugs. I can’t imagine where I would be today if I hadn’t been using the whole time. I was breaking my family’s hearts and setting a horrible example for my little brothers. I was running away from all of my problems because I was afraid to confront them and I was being dishonest to myself. Narconon helped me to identify all of these problems, handle them, and most importantly, leave the past in the past.

Narconon’s goal is to help you strive and achieve for a better future. Well, I’m here to say that I am now mentally prepared to tackle whatever life may throw at me without using substances and to achieve my personal goals to ensure a successful future.


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