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It’s been pretty incredible to see the changes that have taken place since I arrived at Narconon Suncoast. Looking back on my first days, I think I had forgotten how to smile or laugh. It has been a great process and each day has brought changes that have been impossible not to notice.

Going through the New Life Detoxification to the other areas of the program, I have gained so much of myself back. I have a renewed sense of self confidence that had been long lost and a desire to go out and live a healthy, happy, drug-free life and that feels amazing. Perhaps the best part of it all is that today you’d be hard-pressed not to see me with a smile on my face. I can’t thank the staff and Narconon Suncoast enough for helping me get to this point.

J.P.

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Ups and Downs Narconon rehab life skills course coverBefore I started the Ups and Downs in Life course I truly believed I knew what my problems were and how to handle them myself. After writing down the people in my life and talking about how I have affected these people things started to click. The Ethics Officer really helped me through this process and made me realize more in depth the things about those people in my life and how they’ve affected me. Mainly I now understand myself as a person. The part that I was uncomfortable with was confronting these people in my life because I have always had a problem with confronting things in my past. After handling each of those people in my life it was like a weight being lifted off my shoulders each time. One thing I learned was that I am capable of confronting my problems and how much better things can be by communicating how you feel. My mindset has changed dramatically since I have been here, especially after this course. I feel much better about myself and how I have handled all of the people in my life. I am ready to move on to the next part of the program and come one step closer to where I want to be as a person.

J. D.

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V.R -- a drug rehab program graduate!

It was not easy to come to Narconon and not know where to begin fixing my life. At first when I got to withdrawal, I was very sick, confused and anxious. Travis sat with me and offered me his help from day one and helped me see that everything would be okay, and it was. Withdrawal helped me stabilize my body and start to have a clear mind.

After withdrawal when I started sauna, I loved it. For the first time in a very long time I felt revitalized, healthy, and full of energy. I feel so healthy and clear after completing sauna that I wouldn’t change it for anything.

Objectives taught me a lot. First, I went back to basics. I had to do exercises that were repetitive, but they have the purpose to focus you on the environment, and I learned to do things such as control myself, body and mind, be present in the moment, confront a situation that may seem uncomfortable and get as much out of it as possible. Objectives taught me how communication is vital in building relationships and for me to be happy and clear of what’s going on around me.

After objectives, I completed my Life Skills books. I had to really evaluate the people in my life and decide who I want to associate with going forward. I also had to handle painful and uncomfortable situations with people I hurt during my addiction. I had to clean my conscience by writing up all the bad things I had done and how I had withheld them from others. That was when all of the hard work paid off.  Suddenly my entire program made sense. I couldn’t have been able to think clearly without doing sauna, and I wouldn’t have been able to confront and act on uncomfortable situations that drove me to addictions without working through the objectives.

Today, I can honestly say I feel relieved, revitalized, and most, if not all guilt is gone, because I found the problem and worked to fix it with a clear mind and clear goals in the future. I would never have enough words to thank everybody at Narconon. Everybody touched my life significantly and added value to my experience.

 

V.R. Graduate Success Story

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Help a veteran today

Veterans make up a large percentage of individuals who suffer from addiction.

Narconon Suncoast is now offering a 30% Discount off all program services for Military personnel and their families.

Don’t let them suffer in silence.

 

Veteran quote

 

Call 1-888-968-2124

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Heroin epidemic in Pennsylvania

There were 25 reported heroin overdoses in a two-day period last summer in Washington, PA.  Abuse of heroin in this rural area of the Pennsylvania had finally gotten so bad that the Washington Post took notice and featured this afflicted portion of the “Rust Belt” in Washington County in an article.  The article served to draw attention to how bad heroin abuse can get in one community.  For the rest of the Washington DC readership closer to the Beltway, the ever-escalating numbers of overdoses and deaths were harder to believe, but not for local Pennsylvania families who’ve experienced it firsthand.

One such recovered 23 year-old man, “J.L.” lived and abused drugs in Washington County for 10 years.  “This article really hit home for me.  There is such a high volume of heroin available in the greater Pittsburgh area now, that it is way too easy for anyone to get it.  In my hometown of Washington, PA, it’s not like you need to go to an open air market, particular club, gas station or certain person.  Every second person at the mall or grocery can point you to your next fix in our county. The only thing that can halt this tidal wave are more drug awareness programs.”

J.L. started like most opiate addicts do, using alcohol and a “little weed.”   As to how to help parents better understand what to look for and how to help kids avoid the trap of drug addiction?  This recovered addict replied.  Because of Washington, PA’s geographic location on the major interstates, there were plenty of people and parties to get anything I needed all through high school.  Looking back I think I hid my drug abuse pretty well, but I left a string of tell-tale signs, that my parents didn’t see  and just didn’t understand.

When it comes to helping kids stay drug-free, here are six guidelines families need to adopt.

  1. Ask lots of questions and stop being reasonable or too trusting of your kids.  Everyone wants to believe their child isn’t going to do stupid things and get addicted, but when you see things that don’t match up, ask about them and then ask again.  For instance, what about a teenager who is working a 40-hour week, but never seems to have enough money?  Or a 17 year-old who wants to suddenly stay out all night with “good” friends? All are indicators of changes that are most often associated with destructive behaviors.
  2. Know who they are hanging out with and don’t assume they are safe friends just because you know them.  Check in with the other parents.  Find out how they feel about underage drinking and social drinking practices.
  3. If you are suspicious about any activity, follow up on your hunches and find out the truth.  Confronting the situation in a non-confrontational way is key. You have to make it safe for your child to be honest with you.  Addicts and users lie. Once they’ve started that web of lies and you ask any question about their habits or whereabouts, you can expect an explosive reaction.  Those angry and snarling reactions usually indicate that they’ve already done something they don’t want you to know about. Now is the time to find out what it was. Waiting and letting these lies and misdeeds add up only create more distance in the relationship and further seal off the truth and willingness to let anyone help.
  4. Be willing to set rules on drugs and alcohol use and enforce them.  Parents hate to be unpopular, but setting the rules and enforcing them is part of being a parent.  While showing up unannounced in their teenage life, asking tough questions and even drug testing are not popular, they are often needed gradients in this day and age, if you want your children to stay off drugs.
  5. Be there for them.  They need to know you love them and will help them.  That means “having their back”, but having it to help them, not to continue destructive behaviors. Addicts isolate themselves from everyone except other users or people who let them use.  Your child needs to know that they can come to you, no matter what they’ve done or might do, and that you love them and will help them.  You will not enable their continued slide down the scale of actions that might endanger them, but you will help them.  The most confusing parenting advice out there is for parents to be their kids friends.  The truth is kids need parents to BE parents for them, and that isn’t always the “popular” friend type of person.  It’s not tough love, it’s parenting. Guiding, assisting, setting the rules and being a role model.

“When things got really bad,” said J.L., “I felt all alone.  I knew it wasn’t really true, but because of all the lies and harmful things I’d said and done I had to make my parents or anyone offering me help, into my enemy.  It’s one of the most twisted things about addiction. Addicts lash out the most against those who could help them.   Until I studied what was behind this behavior at Narconon, I had no idea why I acted that way. I couldn’t stop it.”  

“Like so many parents, mine were always “hounding me and harassing me about MY life like I wasn’t an adult.  In truth, I see they were doing what good parents should do.  I was just not able to accept their help because I was such a scumbag, lying addict at the time.  It took some real work on my part to get to the point where I could believe they would ever be able to forgive me or love me again.  But the truth is they never had stopped

  1. If you suspect or identify drug abuse, get your loved one to long term treatment immediately.  Overdoses are all too prevalent to wait to get help.  Clinically, studies have shown that long term treatment has the best success rates for permanent opiate cessation.  Finding a program that treats both the physical and mental aspects of addiction is key to stable recovery.  Permanent recovery requiresfinding a program that treats both the mental and physical aspects of addiction and the reason the person turned to drugs in the first place.

Getting me to a treatment program that worked, was the hardest thing my parents had to do.  I went to three of the best 28-day programs in the Pittsburgh, PA area.  While at those programs, I never learned anything about myself and why I used, but I went to a lot of meetings.  When I finally got to Narconon, the difference in personalized treatment was incredible.  Physically I recovered and then I got to look at my life and what problems I had tried to solve with drugs.  I clearly saw what I had done and then got to handle my life in such a way that I knew I’d never have to use drugs again, no matter where I lived.  It wasn’t about the area, it was about me. 

Seeing where I messed up trying to solve my problems with drugs was part of a new beginning for me. I also saw where others were making the same mistake and how we could help them.  I’ve gotten active in my community to help other families avoid the trap of heroin addiction and free themselves if they’ve already gone there.  There’s nothing better than helping someone else learn from my mistakes and build a sober and productive future for themselves and their family!

 

Source: www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/the-heroin-epidemics-toll-one-county-70-minutes-eight-overdoses/2015/08/23/f616215e-48bc-11e5-846d-02792f854297_story.html

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I was pretty angry the day before I started writing up my past transgressions. At Narconon part of the program involves writing up all the bad things you did to yourself and other people in order to get relief from the guilt and shame. I began confronting a lot of things in my past. I started to feel a lot better once I got honest about the heaviest misdeeds and it finally felt like everything was going to be much better. Confronting the things I did was a new thing for me. I also realized how much my hip injury has affected my mindset in the past and how I blames that for so many different things that were going wrong in my life. I truly got significant relief wand I feel so much better. I am ready to move on with my program and keep having wins and I’m feeling better and better each day.

J.D.

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G.P. drug rehab graduate

This has been the hardest thing I have ever done. When I got to Narconon, I felt that I had no one and I hated the person I saw in the mirror. My family had lost all respect for me and were dealing with me and my B.S. Drugs have torn my family apart and have destroyed my life. I lost my son, friends and family but that wasn’t enough for me to stop.

In withdrawal I was miserable, not physically, I just wanted to make everyone else wrong. I couldn’t confront any part of my life and the last thing I wanted to do was take responsibility for my life.

I tried everything to get out of doing the sauna detox program. After a week, I gave up and just did it. I am so thankful for everyone at Narconon who didn’t let me weasel my way out of it because I finally feel like me again! I am full of energy and have an optimistic view on life now because of it. I then moved on to objectives which was the last thing I wanted to do and made sure everyone knew it. Once I realized that I wasn’t going to be able to manipulate my way out of them, I did what was asked of me and got “wins” which made me feel better.

On the Personal Values life skills course I began to really take responsibility for what I have done and I began to feel better. On the rest of my program I finally figured out why I used drugs and I now have the tools to never have to use them again. This program has not only saved my life but has helped me repair my relationships with my son, friends and family. I finally feel alive again!

To the Narconon staff, thank you for not giving up on me and for believing in me when I didn’t believe in myself.

 

-G.P.

G.P. completed the Narconon rehab program

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Helping a family member

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse in 2013 an estimated 17.3 million Americans were dependent on Alcohol, 4.2 million were reported dependent on marijuana and experiencing problems associated with its use and another 22.7 million were reported addicted to opiate painkillers, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and other illicit substances (www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/nationwide-trends).

Needless to say you would be hard-pressed to meet someone in this day and age who hasn’t been touched by addiction in some way, shape or form. It seems that everyone knows someone who is an addict. Families all over the country experience sleepless nights and anxiety attacks not knowing if their son, daughter, mother or father is going to be killed by their addiction.

Once it is found that a family member is addicted the first reaction is upset, anger and disappointment. After these initial emotions subside the search for help commences. Many times the addict has been beaten down by their addiction so severely that the opportunity to enter into a rehabilitation program is a Godsend and a reprieve from their daily suffering. Other addicts wallow in denial, thinking everyone around them is crazy and they are “doing just fine the way they are.”

After a family puts their loved one into a treatment program a palpable sense of hope flows through them. They feel that their loved one finally has a chance to create a good life with a sense of normalcy, leaving their addiction in the dust.

But what happens if the addict fails at rehab?

What if they relapse after returning home?

What if they get dismissed from the treatment center due to poor behavior?

What does the family do then?

Families are faced with dilemma after dilemma, crisis after crisis when dealing with an addict. Sometimes an addict doesn’t “get it” the first time they go to treatment. Some addicts feel as though they can “handle” their drug use successfully or that they’re just not done with the lifestyle. Or they say

“I definitely won’t do heroin anymore but I’m still going to drink and smoke weed.”

Whatever the case may be relapse is a stark reality for many addicts and families. What is the family to do if their loved one fails treatment and relapses or they get dismissed from a program? A family surely cannot turn their backs on their loved one.

The tough love approach can be a problem for some families whereas other families have no other method of dealing with their addicted son, daughter, mother or father other than using this approach. The definition of the “tough love” approach is: 

Ceasing to enable an addict to continue their abhorrent behavior by not allowing the addict to stay at home, not giving the addict any money and basically cutting them off all together while maintaining a level of emotional support.

Some families cannot bring themselves to kick their loved one out of the home or cut them off because they are more afraid of what will happen to the addict if left out on the streets alone. A mother once said:

“He’s (her son) going to use drugs regardless so I’d at least rather have him at home where I know he’s at least somewhat safe.”

I’ve known families to go so far as to provide an apartment, car or insurance, cell phone, etc. to sons or daughters so that they are not “bothered” by these things so that they can “get themselves together”.  Meanwhile the addict continues on his not-so-merry way down the spiral toward eventual imprisonment, death or worse.

On the flipside of the coin some families have absolutely no issue with the “tough love” approach and will do absolutely anything to get their family member into treatment.

The question that remains is:

“Does a family ever give up?”

The answer is a resounding “no.” Families never ever give up hope of their loved one salvaging themselves from ruin and conquering addiction. Sadly, many families deal with relapse after relapse, promises to stop using and get things together to no avail. The mental anguish and torture these families endure is sickening. But they will never give up. Even after an addict succumbs to their addiction the family continues to fight, to speak out against addiction and to prevent other families having to suffer through such tragedies. Relapse does not have to be a part of the recovery process. An addict can receive the right treatment and the right help and not endure the heartache of relapse and destroying their families hope.  Addiction is NOT an incurable disease.

If you or a loved one have dealt with constant relapses and not received the correct treatment for themselves, call Narconon Suncoast today.

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J.P., a drug rehab success, is now drug-free

When I first came to Narconon Suncoast, I was a beaten and broken man. I’ve been in and out of rehabs for nearly 8 years and I felt hopeless. I can say first hand that the way I feel today is the opposite of how I felt when I got here.

Getting to the point I’m at today was a process that included many ups and downs. I’m sure that without the staff’s encouragement and help during the down times, I probably wouldn’t’ have completed the program. I can’t thank everybody enough for their time and efforts in helping me along the way.

The sauna detoxification portion of the program was an incredible experience for me, one that I initially resisted. However seeing first-hand the changes I went through in sauna was incredible. I could not only feel myself feeling physically better each day, but I also clearly noticed myself feeling happier and happier as each day passed.

All of the Life Skills courses; Objectives, Ups and Downs, Personal Values and Changing Conditions in Life, each had their own ways of benefiting my life.  I have never felt more confident in myself, not only to stay drug free for life, but to excel in life.

Again I want to thank the entire staff here for the hand they have had in helping me reach this point. Onward and upward, I’m ready to go!

 

J.P.

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Tampa Drug Summit 2016

Tampa, FL. –  This week, more than 250 representatives from drug education, drug rehabilitation, law enforcement, and family services gathered at the Fourth Annual Tampa Drug Summit. The agenda was filled with experts from all segments of the drug awareness field who updated attendees on the latest trends in drug abuse and new information on how communities can fight back. The summit, held at T’Pepin’s Hospitality Centre, focused on successful collaborative efforts and strategies that could be applied in any area to help create safe and sober neighborhoods.

In the spotlight at this event was the potential impact on Florida communities if medical marijuana is legalized later this year. Narconon Suncoast’s Community Services Director, Yvonne Rodgers remarked, “The negative public impact data coming from states where legalization has occurred needs to be confronted. We have to raise public awareness on the increases in high school marijuana use numbers, increased crime and accidents caused by drivers who were impaired by marijuana use. States like Florida still have a chance to ensure the future safety of their children and communities.”

Summit attendees learned how the reputed benefits of this industry are not being achieved in real life. Examples of skewed statistics used by pro-legalization lobbyists and advocates were presented. For instance, in Colorado, there are claims that fewer high school students are using marijuana since the drug was legalized. These figures do not take into account the steep increases in expulsions and drop-out rates since availability to the drug increased. With the heaviest drug users being left out of the statistic, pro-marijuana advocates can show that the remaining students have lower overall drug use.

Hillsborough County Sheriff Larry Morrell, who visited the largest legal pot growing facility in Washington State, provided graphic descriptions of what a large scale marijuana production really costs a community.  His detailed account revealed:

  • Employees were habitually using the drug they were growing and hard to motivate
  • Even with the best regulatory systems in place, there is plenty of room for theft and loss
  • Black market pot supply has increased, not decreased
  • Vehicular fatalities are increasing
  • Gang and cartel activity has not decreased as promised before legalization.

Inspiring the summit attendees was Shirley Morgan, a resident community activist from Oregon who helped get rid of a meth lab in her neighborhood, created community coalitions in her state and activated citizens to get drug dealers and growers out of their communities. Her systematic and persistent approach encouraged all to increase their community activities and collaboration with others. The message was clear: One person can make a difference and by working with friends, can promote real change and a saner, healthier future for all.

Narconon Suncoast promotes drug-free and healthy communities. It is a long-term residential treatment center located on seven-and-a-half tropical acres in 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 in favor of new 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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