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national drug give back dayClearwater, Florida – Narconon Suncoast drug rehabilitation program is urging families to clean old and unneeded prescription drugs out their medicine cabinets this weekend in preparation for National Rx Drug Take-Back Day on  Saturday, October 22nd.

This annual event helps purge unwanted drugs from homes where they might be easily diverted into the hands of a young person or drug-seeker.   Addicts aged 18-15 report that the number one source for their initial prescription drug abuse was a medicine cabinet of a friend or family member.

The DEA’s Take-Back Initiative highlights the prescription drug abuse epidemic while also addressing other public health issues like accidental poisonings, disposal and misuse.  Additionally the campaign seeks to raise American awareness that the previously held practice for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.

Last April’s event, Americans turned in 447 tons (over 893,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at almost 5,400 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,200 of its state and local law enforcement partners.  Overall, in its 11 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 6.4 million pounds—about 3,200 tons—of pills.

For more information about prescription drug abuse, symptoms of addiction and drug testing, contact Narconon Suncoast Rehabilitation. If you suspect someone has become addicted to prescription medications, please call and speak with a counselor immediately.


October 22, 2016
10:00 AM – 2:00 PM

The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications.

For the drop-off location nearest you, use the link below:;jsessionid=139BCF2DABF76915AB6E9DF719DC7E4C?_flowExecutionKey=_c8B7B3AB9-7C85-B656-9671-9530FD8EEFFD_k4600A49B-F5DC-F04E-2044-3DD869949808

Narconon Suncoast’s community drug abuse prevention program is focusing on prescription drug abuse awareness this month.  The drug treatment center provides complimentary parent/family drug abuse prevention seminars in Clearwater and Living Sober meetings in Dunedin, Florida.  These meetings and seminars help reinforce the key steps to living a healthy, drug-free life and learning how to help those suffering with addiction.  The Living Sober meetings also provide drug prevention information for families and coaching on how to talk to someone about addiction and get them into treatment.  October’s topic is “Getting an Addict into Treatment and Healing the Family.”

More information:

Yvonne Rodgers

Director of Community Services

(727) 304-4176

Filed under News #

   I couldn't run from myself  “My life before Narconon was chaos, if I could put it simply. I started using drugs at a very young age, but I was basically a “weekend warrior.” Then around 7 years ago, I found myself doing pain killers. Before I knew it, I became completely addicted to them, the drugs took over and began to control every aspect of my life. I started losing jobs, friends, family and relationships. I was running from the police and enemies every day, all day. After three other failed rehab attempts, I found myself stuck running the streets. My parents lived in fear that I would end up dead or in prison and I was at the point in my life where I had no hope and basically didn’t even care if I died. Then my mom called me one day with one last opportunity to change my life and go somewhere that was completely different than anything I had ever tried.

    “That’s when I came to Narconon. I was coming off serious amounts of drugs when I walked through the gates. During my withdrawal, the staff did everything they could to make it comfortable for me. After about 2 weeks of “kicking,” I went into the sauna detox portion of the program. I was actually excited to sweat out all the drugs I had done and find out for myself if it really worked.

“It actually works!

     “I came in to the program at 166 pounds. After withdrawal and sauna my weight came back up to normal at 196 pounds. Sauna finally freed my mind of cravings and thoughts of wanting to use. I’ve never felt this well in body, mind and spirit. Now, at this point in my program, I ‘m willing and able to actually work on myself and change my life. My mom and I genuinely laugh together when she visits or we talk on the phone. My dad is finally willing to speak to me and see me. I plan on relocating away from the town I’ve known for so long and start over somewhere new with a completely different mindset. I would recommend this program to anyone trying to free themselves and become drug and alcohol free for good.

“It really works and I’m proof of that!”


Filed under Success Stories, Testimonials #

pill-popping-problemThere was a time when every little anxiety, sadness or even really good mood wasn’t considered a “problem.” As time has gone on, medications have been a “go-to” when people don’t feel well. Anxious? Take a pill. Headache? Take a pill. Depressed? Take a pill. In a really good mood all time? Yeah, that’s a problem, take a pill! The ups, the downs, the good times and bad times can all have some disorder and medication attached to them. There’s a medication for everything these days. No matter what the problem, yep, there’s a pill for that!

Kids aren’t free to be kids anymore. Most kids have tons of spastic energy and would much rather be running around and playing outside with their friends. Furthermore, when kids are having trouble, not feeling well or are unhappy, no investigation is done to find out why.  Here is an all-too familiar situation:

Teacher Mrs. Jones notices that Joey is gazing out the window during class and not paying attention. She gets Joey “tested” by the school doctor or social worker.


She can also have a conference with Joey’s parents and urge them to take him to a doctor to get him tested and medicated.

That’s laughable. Yeah, they can totally give him medication to help with that; Ritalin. For those who are completely unaware of what Ritalin is, the chemical is Methylphenidate, which has similar effects to cocaine and methamphetamine. That’s right, give Joey a little “legal speed” and he’ll pay attention all day, love school and get great grades.

What this actually accomplishes is it teaches Joey, at a young age, that if he ever has any problem, any discomfort, that taking a drug is the answer. Does anyone else think this is a bit ridiculous? No one has thought to try and figure out the reason Joey is distracted and staring out the window instead of paying attention in class.

Maybe he had a fight with his parents and is upset.

Maybe his parents are fighting and about to get a divorce.

Maybe Joey doesn’t sleep well at night.

Maybe Joey is getting bullied.

Often his diet is full of sugar, making him over-active and distracted.

No one has cared to ask any questions. Instead, his teachers say:

“He can’t pay attention and surely has ADHD and needs to get on medication to help with it.”

If his teacher, guidance counselor or principal took the time to try and get to the real reason Joey can’t pay intention in class, he might have been spared being put on hardcore drugs as a solution to his inattention.

Unfortunately, the same scene is occurring with drug addiction. Most people either in the addiction field or the addicts themselves are made to believe that addiction is a mental and spiritual “disease” to which there is no hope of a cure. When addicts enroll in a drug rehab program, they are most often told that they have co-occurring mental illness, which requires more drugs in the way of psychiatric medications.

There are a few things that can cause mental and emotional discomfort that rehab physicians and counselors never look at. For instance, toxicity in the body can cause a person to feel sluggish, have low-energy where it’s hard to even get out of bed, mental cloudiness, drug cravings and poor physical health.

Drug residues apparently get lodged in the fatty tissues of the body and get re-released into the system during periods of stress or exercise. Basically, anytime a person burns fat, which is anytime their heartrate increases, these residues go back into circulation, causing the person to re-experience the effects of the drugs they’ve taken, even years after stopping. Also, a person’s diet and level of exercise also plays a part. Food allergies regularly cause mental distress. While a person may not be so allergic to milk that they get horrible stomach aches, they may be allergic enough to where it causes them to feel depressed, sad or anxious.  According to a well-known doctor, Dr. McDougall

“In some people anxiety, depression, and fatigue are caused by allergic reactions to foods. The most common causes of food allergies are dairy products, followed by eggs”.

In mainstream drug treatment, no effort is put towards finding out why a person has turned to drugs or why drugs became their only solution to life’s problems. There are underlying reasons to addiction and they are not because the person is “diseased” and requires more drugs.

There are many other “why’s” that a person becomes an addict and stays an addict and it’s surely not mental illness. Unfortunately, mainstream drug and alcohol treatment doesn’t put forth any effort to figure it out. And why would they when it’s easier to medicate addicts, tell them they’re diseased and there’s essentially no hope in ever being “normal.”

A little enlightenment can go a long way. Not every up and down in life is a “mental illness” and requires more drugs. Life is full of good times and bad times, times of heartache and times of sheer joy. And in no way is that indicative of “mental illness.” If no one has said this out loud before, let it be known that addiction can be handled; that there is hope and there are actual reasons behind a person’s addiction. If these underlying causes are accurately identified and handled, a person can then live a normal life, free of cravings and free of their addiction without needing to take drugs, alcohol or psychiatric medication.

Filed under News #

Scott MWhen I came to Narconon, I was scared, apprehensive and didn’t know what to expect. I did know that I needed help and that my life was slipping away. I’ve spent my whole career helping others and I was a broken man. I was very lucky to have a supportive wife and family who wanted to see me beat my addiction.

When I first arrived and went into the program, I was very anxious and not very fun to be around. I have to thank the staff for helping me through those first, difficult days.

As I moved through the program, each step really helped me and each was better than the last. Sauna helped to remove the cravings I had battled with for years. It also helped to give me a sense of calmness and I finally felt good again. I am so grateful for that!

The rest of the program helped me tremendously. It helped me to better communicate with others and raised my awareness of things I never paid much mind to before. I finally have the tools I need to be a sober and successful person. I am now able to go home and be a better husband, be a better father and be a better grandfather.

I feel great! I feel confident! And I’m really excited about my new life!


Filed under Success Stories, Testimonials #

Drug Ed BryanThe current, mainstream Drug Education programs that exist are lacking real data about drugs and alcohol and an effective way of presenting their message. The information given by these programs are designed to scare kids straight, hoping they will never get drunk or high, for fear of their own mortality.

These programs visit schools nationwide to deliver an anti-drug message in the hopes of keeping children sober. The prevention steps taken by these programs involves showing slideshows of fatal D.U.I. accidents, morgue photos of victims of overdoses and giving outdated information about drugs.

While this is a good attempt to keep children and teens drug-free, it’s highly unrealistic that it will actually work. The reality of the situation is that most kids ARE going to drink and try drugs. It’s the current state of our society. Drugs are prevalent in the news media and musicians and actors glamorize them.

According to a recent Narconon graduate:

“The first night I ever got drunk, I decided those lectures were nothing more than a cool shirt to wear and my brain had most certainly not turned into scrambled eggs after drinking beer. I decided that alcohol was being unfairly slandered by the media and I was going to be damned if I didn’t prove to all of those D.A.R.E. counselors that they were wrong when they said it was bad for you!”


Kid’s hear messages of “get high to be creative” or “alcohol makes it easier to get lucky” and they run with it. Their “heroes” are actually telling them to get high or drink as a solution to a lack of creativity or being nervous to ask someone out or dating in general. Basically, the media and celebrities are teaching kids that drugs and alcohol are a solution to their problems. This is where addiction is born; a person tries a drug, thinks “wow, this stuff is great” and then a little while later, life shakes them up a bit and after a series of bad decisions, the person can’t go more than a few hours at a time without their drug of choice. They tear their families apart, lose their dignity and self-respect and one day, they look at their reflection in a dirty mirror in a public bathroom after shooting up and think “where did I go wrong?”

What’s needed is more drug education that is realistic and gives real information about drugs, alcohol and addiction. More programs are needed that don’t “fear monger” our youth and make them sign meaningless pledges to stay drug free.

The Narconon program has an effective and well-established alcohol and drug education curriculum. Recently, Narconon Suncoast participated in the 11th Annual Back to School Health and Wellness Event in Clearwater, FL. Staff members handed out drug prevention information and school supplies, delivering a real anti-drug message from people that have “walked the walk” and come out of addiction themselves.

There’s something more organic and realistic when a recovered addict talks to kids about the actual dangers of using drugs and the impact addiction can have on their lives.

“One joint may not kill you but one day, you might wake up as a sick, disheveled heroin addict. And it can all come back to that one joint.”

Narconon Suncoast prides itself as being an active member of the Clearwater community and offers drug rehabilitation and education services to anyone who may need it. Narconon Suncoast’s Staff have a passion for drug addiction prevention and they are doing everything they can to prevent the creation of a new generation of addicts that can be so easily prevented.

For More information on Narconon Suncoast’s Drug Education Curriculum, call 1-888-968-2124 today!

Filed under News #

PRESS RELEASE JUL 27, 2016 09:19 EDT


pressreleaseJuly2016Drug education has always been one of the core missions of the Narconon facility. The Drug Education program utilized by Narconon programs focus on providing real information about the harmful effects of drug use in an enjoyable, fun, and entertaining format.

Clearwater, FL, July 27, 2016 ( – Narconon Suncoast shared its drug prevention message with hundreds of Clearwater families this weekend at the first annual Downtown Clearwater Block Party. All too often summer brings countless opportunities for children to experiment with drugs and alcohol and start unhealthy habits that lead to addiction. Nearly a million teens will have their first drink of alcohol and more than 150,000 will start using marijuana. Countering this, Narconon Suncoast opened its “Count on Me to be Drug-Free” booth at the first annual Downtown Clearwater Block Party.

Children enjoyed the drug prevention information, signed a Drug-Free Pledge and picked up school supplies for the coming year. “Nothing is more important than parents giving their kids a consistent, drug-free message at home” said Yvonne Rodgers, spokesperson for Narconon Suncoast. “The messages I heard at my school were confusing and often piqued kids’ curiosity about drugs, rather than giving them the truth about drugs. When I saw the Narconon drug prevention materials, I knew that this straight-up, realistic message was what is often missing to help parents start what can be an uncomfortable conversation.”

With new varieties of synthetic drugs and marijuana becoming more plentiful in every neighborhood, Narconon Suncoast is doubling its prevention efforts and offering more prevention materials on-line. The goal is to reach children with factual prevention information for all the drugs youth might encounter. Drug trends change so rapidly that youth must be aware of the dangers of all drugs, not just a few.

“Nothing is more important than parents giving their kids a consistent, drug-free message at home.” YVONNE RODGERS, SPOKESPERSON

Narconon’s drug-free summer program also includes complimentary parent education seminars at their center on Sunset Point Road in Clearwater and weekly Living Sober meetings in Dunedin for those in recovery. These meetings and seminars help reinforce the key factors to living a healthy, drug-free life. The Living Sober meetings also provide drug prevention information for families and coaching on how to talk to a loved one about an addiction. August’s topic is Helping vs. Enabling an Addict. All are welcome to attend. To learn the schedule for these meetings, contact Narconon Suncoast.

Filed under News #

Musician helps addicts get soberOften enough, people ask me:

“Why do you do what you do?” or

“What made you want to work at Narconon?”

I wish there was a simple answer to that question. But, there isn’t.

Throughout my life, I have gone in many different directions, most of which had absolutely nothing to do with what I do now. When I was little, I wanted to be a Paleontologist, a teacher, a physical therapist, then I wanted to be a music teacher, and so on and so on. I eventually found myself working for a sheet metal company in a small Pennsylvania town. At this point in my life, I was pretty lost and waiting for someone to find me or at least, for me to find myself.

I remember that I always had a love for music. By the time I was 20, I could play 8 instruments. The people that were closest to me would complement my playing and say that I was some sort of “musical genius”. I don’t know if I ever really played into that or not, but the complement was really cool. Anyway, I had gone to college at Youngstown State University to study Music Education. I did well, at first. I made it 3 semesters before I dropped out because of terrible grades and truancy. One thing always stuck out to me though… I always had this feeling inside of me that I wanted to help people. I liked helping people and would go out of my way to help others and expect nothing in return. I would talk to my parents about this and my dad would say:

“You must get that from your mom” (she was a kindergarten teacher).

As life progressed, things got worse and worse for me. The only things I seemed to have were my family, my music, a good work ethic and my drive to want to live. I eventually got down to Florida and did the Narconon Program in 2013. It got me cleaned up and helped me organize my life, but, one question still remained unanswered:

What was I going to do with my life after rehab?

To be honest, I could have done anything I wanted. For the first time in years, I felt like I had the world at my finger-tips. I could have went off to any university and majored in music again and got my degree and go play music for a living. I could have went to engineering school. I didn’t do that either.

I ended up staying at Narconon and making it onto the staff team. This took me a few months to achieve. Looking back on it, all of the passions I had in my life all boiled down to one thing; I just wanted to help people and I wanted to give them the same kindness and consideration that was given to me. The Narconon Program made sense to me. I could learn from it and I could use what I learned. I found myself easily able to convey the technology of the Narconon Program to other people. At that point, I knew what I needed to do. I know I said that this question of “why did I choose to work at Narconon” didn’t have a simple answer, but it does… I wanted to help make the world a better place, one person at a time. This was really important to me and it still is.

I was given the chance to do this and I took it and ran. I never looked back nor do I ever intend to. Working at Narconon is the best job I could have ever asked for.

Johnny L.


At the beginning of every addict’s drug use, they simply experimented with drugs. It was either offered by a friend, given at a party or prescribed by a doctor. Once the person took the drugs and felt their effects, they had a thought:

“I can do anything!!!”  (feels self-confident)

“I’m awesome and a rock star!!!”  (doesn’t feel like such a klutz)

“Whoa! I can think better and stay up all night studying.”  (feels smarter and that he can study)

“I feel so good for a change!!!”  (no physical or emotional pain)

The drug solved some sort of problem the person was having. Now they feel as though they live better with the drug than without it.  They are not “addicts” at this point, they are just “users” and feel like they can control their usage.  After a while, physical dependency sets in and the person gets sick if they don’t “use”.  Now they are an “addict”.  So they continue using no matter what happens or who they hurt and do whatever they have to do to make sure they have their drugs.  If they don’t, they’re in pain.  Morals, ethics and integrity are thrown to the wind and go completely out the window. In the addict’s mind, they are doing what they need to do to not be uncomfortable.  They don’t even get “high” anymore!  To family, friends, co-workers, etc. they look completely out of their mind and are barely recognizable anymore. The once well put-together, educated and charismatic person who had a lust for life is now a pale, malnourished, untrustworthy dope-fiend.

Some addicts are lucky enough to make it to a rehabilitation center alive, albeit barely. Others aren’t so lucky and don’t make it at all.  Some families have to deal with the death of their loved one. The family is scarred permanently; blaming themselves and wondering what they could have done differently. The stark reality of addiction is that you absolutely cannot force a person to help themselves. Some addicts get beat up enough by the lifestyle that they kiss the floor of the treatment center once they arrive, so grateful to their families for helping them.

A number of drug addicts, after many failures, false hopes and broken families, have found their solution at Narconon Suncoast.  Narconon is the oldest program of its kind and has been around since the 1960’s. Narconon does not consider a person an addict for life nor looks at its students as “diseased.” The addicts are called “students” instead of “patients” because they are learning how to live life again free of drugs. While an addict’s own religion is important, the Narconon program does not require faith or belief for them to become drug-free for good.

Instead of being made to admit they are “powerless” over their addiction, the program puts the drug use, damage and the whole situation onto the addict themselves as their own responsibility. Essentially, it is their behavior, poor choices and inability to face life’s problems that created their addiction. Their self-determinism is the only force powerful enough to allow them to quit using. The students are gotten off drugs without being put on other drugs, fully detoxed using a proprietary sauna detoxification method and taught how to live life again, repair the past and finally move forward in life.

This video features a recent Narconon Suncoast graduate and details her struggle through addiction and how the program saved her life and put her back on the road to success!

communication is the key to successOn the Narconon program, the biggest game-changers for the addict in terms of his relationships are the life skills courses. These courses are designed to systematically take a student through every area of life, confronting what he did or didn’t do, that he was supposed to have done.  Very simply put, on these courses Narconon students realize just what kind of negative impacts they have created while addicted and then learn how they can make up the damage in those areas with the people they have harmed.

The self-paced design of the Narconon Life Skills Courses lets each individual work at their own pace, addressing topics in the areas of life specific to their individual needs.  Many addicts have let life go to pieces; not caring what they did and who they hurt along the way.  While beginning to repair this may seem impossible at first, the step-by-step gradient of each course allows them to easily confront their “trouble” areas of life and begin to repair them. Gradually each student becomes more and more willing to handle even the toughest situations and begin to see that they are making great strides toward a happy and healthy life.

The goal of these courses it to raise an individual’s responsibility level and self-determinism about life to a point where they can start designing a drug-free future.

The key is getting them to see that they CAN and ARE solving their own problems.  Once they are successful in doing that, it is inevitable that they will realize that if they apply these new life skills, they do not ever have to use drugs to solve their problems.  Once that responsibility level is reached, they gain the confidence to create a sane, sober and successful life.

Here is a great description from a recent student who realized he can now communicate with anyone, work things out with communication and become the person he used to be without drugs:

“After doing the Up’s and Downs portion of the program I realized that when I used drugs, I was the anti-social person in my life. This is another reason why I want to stay off of drugs and become the person I used to be.

When I finished analyzing the most important and active members currently in my life, I had to handle all the harm I had caused them. After doing all this, I realized that Communication is Key.  Instead of making assumptions, just lay everything on the table.  When both people can fully understand each other, they can better work towards a solution they will both be happy with!

I will continue to do this with those in my life now and whoever I meet in the future.”


Life skills are usually taught to children by their parents. Sometimes they’re not. Whatever the situation may have been, all addicts share something in common:

Whether they were taught life skills or not, they lack the ability to confront the problems of life without chemicals. At some point, drugs became THE solution. Without the drugs they deemed themselves powerless. The Narconon program not only gives addicts the skills they need to face and handle their issues, it helps them finally become causative over their entire lives!

I love to help othersIt’s amazing how difficult it can be to get someone into treatment. A person isn’t deciding which new car to buy or whether to get whole milk or 2%. They are deciding what program has the best shot to save their loved one’s life. A person must get the right help, right now before they disappear, become unwilling or die.

I know finding treatment can be a very fearful process. There are so many choices. Some are free and some cost a fortune. Some do the 12-steps and others don’t. Families have to worry about the willingness of the addict and whether or not they will stay in a program once admitted. They also hope against hope that they chose the right treatment center. It can be overwhelming and, at times, I hear that uncertainty in the voices of people I talk with on the phone. I’m an Admissions Counselor at Narconon.

I was an addict. By the age of 21, I had been to 3 rehabs and more 12 step meetings than I can count. My parents expected me to relapse after treatment because it happened so many times.

Looking back, it doesn’t seem like that was even me!

I know my family didn’t recognize the person they were looking at. After my second overdose, I realized that drugs were going to kill me. I woke up in the hospital to my mother in tears. She was scared for my life and ashamed of who I had become. When I looked in the mirror I didn’t recognize myself. This was when my parents found Narconon.

It was their last ditch effort to save my life. It worked.

When I talk to families of addicts, I think of my own mother and father. I know what is at stake and I understand that a loved one’s addiction completely tears homes apart. Days or weeks are spent searching for a solution, hoping that the next phone call is the one that changes everything. Everyone is desperate to find a solution before they get the call that it’s too late.

I have gone to meetings, taken medications and tried different treatments. I have seen my parents worried sick about me and I know what drugs do to a family. I also see another side. I see the changes an addict can make on the Narconon program. I get to see them rebuild their relationships, and most importantly, I get to see them finally get some relief from their addiction that they couldn’t get anywhere else.

I help people into the Narconon program because I believe it is the best program on the planet. Narconon restored me back to who I was before drugs. I know that it can help the addict, the family and every aspect of addiction. I trust the people I work with to come in and do their best, day in and day out. There is nothing more satisfying than to watch a person change for the better and make the same changes I made. It’s amazing to see someone become enthusiastic about life again!

I do what I do every day to give that chance to others.


Filed under News, Testimonials #

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