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Delphi high school student get drug prevention

This past Friday, Delphi Senior High School students toured Narconon Suncoast Rehabilitation Center receiving a first-hand account of how addiction starts and how the Narconon program ends it. While many schools may have given up on keeping their students drug-free, Delphi Florida decided to take their drug prevention efforts a step further and let students witness first-hand what happens when prevention messages fail and addiction takes hold of someone’s life. Students participated in an inter-active presentation of the Narconon Drug-free treatment and prevention model and listened to two former addicts share their powerful stories of addiction. No questions were left unanswered as the students got legitimate answers on tough questions about how even casual, experimental use can lead to horrendous addictions as well as what recovery really takes.

“I really wanted to do this talk and let these kids know how quickly your life can change.” said one of the former addicts. “I don’t want them to make the same mistakes I made so that they can live a life without drugs. None of my actions were worth the resulting pain. No high, no “good time” made any of the destruction worth it in the end. I want kids to know that!” The same former addict spoke of the positive high school goals she had before drugs as she had a good chance at being accepted into Julliard where she planned to study to become a production artist. Those dreams and opportunities were eroded by every hit that she took and every beer she drank. The slide into a reckless life with the singular goal of her next high, riveted the young listeners.

One student remarked, “ I had no idea that addiction can take over your life that quickly and how bad it can get. You hear people talk about casual use and weekend parties, but the movies and media don’t usually focus on the unglamorous reality of drugs.” Another student said “Hearing these former addicts tell their stories made me realize how much bigger the drug problem is, because it hits the entire family, not just the addict.”

drug-rehab-doing-prevention“The cost of their addiction was pretty intense. Losing everything in a short amount of time and then having to make it back was impressive!” commented another student. “They’ve handled a lot of things. I’m glad they were willing to share their stories with us”
Colin Taufer headmaster of Delphi Florida said, “Thank you for these incredibly personal and powerful stories. I wanted our students to not only see the side of addiction from people who have been there, but also see that there are effective solutions for people who become addicted. Narconon has done a great job restoring these peoples’ lives.”

Narconon has been rehabilitating addicts for 50 years. Addictions can be ended and it is possible to create a sober future for good. Drug prevention has always been one of Narconon’s foremost goals. By sharing the real truth about drugs, Narconon prevention programs have helped thousands of young people stay away from drugs and end the possibility of addiction before it ever starts.

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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?

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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.

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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:


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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!


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drinking alcohol during the holidays

Holiday parties leave ample opportunity and excuse for addicts to use more than they normally would. The result is often an unexpected binge-related drug overdose of fatal accident.

With this in mind, Cathy Steiner, Executive Director of the newly opened Narconon Suncoast Rehabilitation center in Clearwater, Florida urges families to act on the first signs of drug addiction. Steiner warns “If you have an addict in your family, get them into treatment now.  Families know there will be no peace or joy until the addict can learn to break free from their addiction and start a new life.  At Narconon, we work harder than ever around the holidays, because we know how stressful it is to have an addict at home during this season.  We do everything we can to help families find placement now, instead of waiting for the next DUI or accident to happen.” The holidays have a way of bringing out the worst parts of addiction, creating strife and unrest at a time when all everyone really want is to get along and celebrate life.  Steiner says “with an addict in your home, the family can never know what to expect from one day to the next. And the holidays seem to create a greater emotional rollercoaster for those addicted and their loved ones.”

narconon-during-holidaysThe Holidays are the time of year when well-hidden addictions first surface in the form of binge drinking and open drug use. Often families don’t know where to turn and choose to avoid confronting the addict during the Holidays and want to wait to help them find treatment until after the holidays. Statistically, waiting out the holidays is one the most dangerous things a loved one can do for an addict. With the highest reported OD’s, traffic fatalities and suicides in December, it is vital that families find effective drug and alcohol treatment immediately.

Narconon has been helping alcohol and drug addicted people since 1966. For over 40 years, Narconon centers have monitored their treatment results all over the world.   A recent analysis of Narconon’s key components led to the revision of the program to where it is now the most effective client-centered Narconon program ever delivered. This new method takes an addict through a precise sequence of rehabilitation procedures which helps eliminate physical drug cravings, corrects addictive behavior patterns, rebuilds relationships and puts them back in full control of their life. A person graduates the Narconon Suncoast program with a clear direction on how to maintain a sober and productive life style

Narconon Suncoast is now located on seven and a half tropical acres in sunny Clearwater, Florida.  The newly opened state-of- the- art facility is fully licensed as a residential treatment center by the Florida Department of Children and Families and accepts those who are ready to leave their lives of addiction behind and build drug-free lives.  If you know someone who is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction or for admissions information call (877) 841-5509.  All calls are confidential

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Narconon staff and volunteers gathered at the 27th Annual Say No to Drugs Race in Clearwater, Florida this morning to support the drug-free movement and spread the truth about drugs.

With temperatures hovering around the 50 degree mark, runners set out for their 5 and 10k runs followed by a delicious pancake breakfast and awards ceremony.  Over 300 participants stopped by to sign the Narconon “Say Yes to Life” pledge board. Parents were delighted by the “Ten Things Your Friends May Not Know About Drugs” brochure and drug-free proclamation.

“It’s great to see that Narconon Suncoast has opened a beautiful residential rehab in the Clearwater area and is participating in the community at today’s race” said Lois Hagen, a local mom. “There are so many families who have someone in need of rehab services and as a parent of two teens, I can say we need as much prevention work as we can get here and throughout Florida.”

yvonne-with-runnerAs a community service, Narconon Suncoast provides drug education and prevention booklets on drug and alcohol abuse. We salute the 2500+ participants who came out for the Annual Say No to Drugs Race in support of sober, healthy lives and community prevention programs.

Narconon Suncoast is now located on seven and a half tropical acres in sunny Clearwater, Florida.  The newly opened state-of-the-art facility is fully licensed as a residential treatment center by the Florida Department of Children and Families and accepts those who are ready to leave their lives of addiction behind and build drug-free lives.  If you know someone who is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction or for admissions information call (877) 841-5509.  All calls are confidential.

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On November 15th, Narconon Suncoast Drug Educators joined parents, grandparents and community members to share their work, hobbies and life experiences with students in Pinellas County.  Narconon joined the Great American Teach-In, a national program which brings thousands of volunteers to local schools to share their interests and expertise.

For Narconon staff members, the topic was drug awareness and prevention for over 350 county middle schoolers.  The interactive Narconon curriculum covered topics from alcohol and prescription drug abuse to the latest update on synthetic drugs, which are more easily accessible than ever to children in Pinellas County.   “Kids are curious about every drug and get so much inaccurate information from friends and the internet,” said one 7th grade teacher.  “It was good to have experienced speakers who understand addiction and know the truth, not the glamorous images that movies and music like to portray.”

Mike Hoy of Narconon Suncoast has participated in the Teach-In for 5 years and said that his respect for teachers and administrators increases each year. “Hat’s off to our teachers.  Most of the kids are really great, but from their questions, we often see which kids have already started experimenting with alcohol and pot and how it’s affecting their thinking.  Getting them the true facts on drugs will really help them make better decisions and stay away from the gateway drugs.”

drug-abuse-message-nov2015Another Narconon speaker, Michael Buckley reminded kids they had the power to choose to stay away from drugs and alcohol and live sober lives. Buckley delivered a powerful message about the harmful effects of marijuana and synthetic drugs.   “Nationally we have seen the perception of marijuana use risks decrease as kids hear positive things about the medical and legalization issues.   The media isn’t reminding kids of the dangers, so parents and prevention groups need to constantly reinforce the harmful realities of drug use.”

As a community service, Narconon Suncoast provides workshops for parents, drug-free workplace seminars and prevention booklets on drug and alcohol abuse.  For more information on helping a loved one suffering from addiction or to set up drug prevention presentations call (877) 841-5509.
Narconon Suncoast is now located on seven and a half tropical acres in sunny Clearwater, Florida.  The newly opened state-of- the- art residential center is fully licensed as a residential treatment center by the Florida Department of Children and Families and accepts those who are ready to leave their lives of addiction behind and build drug-free lives.  For admissions information call (877) 841-5509.  All calls are confidential.

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Narconon Florida reports parents shocked by their child’s high and potentially lethal daily drug dosages when they finally get them to drug rehab for treatment of their prescription addictions

Narconon Florida

Narconon Florida

Quote startMany of the addicts actually feel relieved to be able to let their parent or spouses know just how bad their prescription addiction has gotten and want to be in a safe environment when they finally ‘come clean’ about their usage.Quote end

Clearwater, FL (PRWEB) September 20, 2011

Narconon Florida’s Executive Director, Cheryl Alderman, reports seeing a new trend appearing as parents enroll their children in the Narconon drug-free program. Of the parents present during the initial intake interviews, 95% had no idea of the high and potentially lethal daily drug doses, many prescription drugs, their loved one was taking.

“First of all,” says Ms. Alderman, “let me say that we only service adults at Narconon Florida, so we are talking about adult children here, and it’s normal for their parents or a loved one to bring them in for a consultation and intake Interviews. Many of the addicts actually feel relieved to be able to let their parent or spouses know just how bad their prescription addiction has gotten and want to be in a safe environment when they finally ‘come clean’ about their usage.”

Over time people addicted to drugs build up a tolerance for the substance they are taking and as they continue to use the “Highs” are less high and they must take more drugs just to not be in pain or withdrawal.

“Routinely, people addicted can take 25-30 Oxycontin daily, along with 4-5 Xanax bars and much more on a daily basis. Many say they wake up and roll over in bed to do a line of Cocaine just so they can start the day,” says Alderman.

Not knowing how truly addictive prescription medications can be and having them so readily prescribed in Florida has dramatically increased the amount of prescription drug users seeking withdrawal and rehabilitation services. This trend is also bearing out in the intake reports Alderman sees on a weekly basis at her Narconon Florida center in Clearwater. With many years of experience in drug rehabilitation she says they are seeing prescription drug addicts forming 95% of their new “students” as they call people on their program.

The prescription addiction starts one of several different ways, treatment for an injury, a dental procedure or someone gives them something to feel better and get them through a tough time, or just a little something to pump them up at a party, but no matter what the path of addiction is, it leads to higher and higher does and to the same life ruins: loss of jobs, family, health and more times than not, loss of life.

“In Pinellas County we are losing on average 7-8 people to Oxycontin deaths a week. That statistic alone should make you very cautious of using prescriptions for any more than the recommended time and dose,” says Alderman.

Families who have a loved one that may be suffering with addiction are invited call the center at  888-968-2124  for free information on prescription drug addiction or a confidential assessment. If the addiction has progressed to a point where treatment is needed, counseling and out-patient services are available at Narconon Florida seven days a week.

The Narconon program is unique from other drug rehab programs with it steps that are entirely drug-free; that is, the Narconon drug rehabilitation program does not use drugs or medications to solve the problems caused by drugs, but does use nutrition and nutritional supplements as an important component of its delivery. Thus the program is neither a psychiatric nor medical, but a social education model of rehabilitation.

Narconon Florida, Inc. is located in Clearwater, Fl and is a private non-profit agency that is licensed by the State of Florida. For over a decade they have provided Detoxification and Treatment Services to individuals throughout the nation that are dealing with alcohol and substance abuse with a 78% success rate. The goal of Narconon Florida is to offer effective drug education as well as technology to those in need. The objective of the program is to assist the student back into society by addressing the reduction of incidence with the legal system. The program improves damaged relationships with his/her family, and also gives guidance in making realistic decisions and contributions to society. For more information visit their website at or call  888-968-2124


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