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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


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

I’m ready to start a new chapter!


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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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J.G. Narconon drug rehab graduate
Before I went to Narconon, I had lost everything to my addiction. I became addicted to cocaine and opiates when I was 20 years old even though I had a great childhood and wonderful parents. I did well through high school and graduated near the top of my class.
Then I went to college and began experimenting with drugs. I remember the first time I tried cocaine. I had a formal event for my fraternity and my date brought along a small bag of coke. She sat at the table in the hotel room before the event and set out a line for herself. She asked me if I wanted one. I said sure and snorted the line. At that very moment, I opened Pandora’s Box.
I immediately knew I was addicted. All of my self-esteem issues disappeared.  I finally felt good. I was talkative and social and wondered where this drug had been all my life. I had found the answer to all my problems.
The next day I went out and bought an 8-ball and finished it within hours. I found myself completely hooked. From that point, on my life spiraled completely out of control. I finished college and went back home to Massachusetts to run away from the debts I owed, the relationships I had ruined and the wreckage I caused. I stayed clean for maybe 3 weeks until I started using again. Someone I used with taught me what Oxy’s and heroin were and how to smoke coke, so I became a crackhead and an IV heroin addict. Three months later I had committed countless crimes, including being caught for credit card fraud and I wound up in the first of many rehabs.
I bounced from rehab to rehab only to relapse within hours of being discharged. I went to four 12-step treatment centers. I found myself in a crack-hotel being held hostage by a bunch of dealers. I found a phone and called my parents who had just returned from a vacation. Nice welcome home. I told them I wanted help.  To this day I don’t know how I escaped from this situation but miraculously, I did. My parents bought me a one-way plane ticket and told me they had found a non-12 step treatment center and if I didn’t make it work, never call them again.
I arrived at Narconon in the dirty clothes I was wearing, lips burned from crack pipes and track marks everywhere and my life changed forever.  I was beaten down and ready for change. I got through the drug-free withdrawal with ease. It was the easiest withdrawal I had ever had and there was always someone there to help me with the physical and emotional discomfort. When I say the sauna detoxification changed me forever, I mean it. Within 2 weeks in the sauna, all of my cravings for drugs went away. I wasn’t thinking about them, dreaming about them or talking about them. I NEVER thought that was possible. I had been a craving-driven addict. The only reason I kept using was because my cravings were so bad. And just like that, they were gone. I had both my mind and my power of choice back.  The me I had lost many years before, I found again.
After the life skills courses and counseling, I had a confidence I never had before. I felt good about myself for the first time in my life. I felt like I could accomplish anything and was on top of the world.
Narconon gave me my life back. Most people thought I would die before I got sober. And here I am. Years later with a life beyond my wildest dreams.
I have Narconon to thank for that.

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When I arrived at Narconon I was beat up, broken and wasn’t completely sure I was ever going to be able to live my life drug-free and happy. Narconon gave me the chance to do so.
My addiction all started in 2008 when my grandfather died. I used that as an excuse to start getting into drugs. I couldn’t handle the reality, I would say. I would also think to myself how unhappy I was with the way I was or the way I felt. Narconon changed all that for me. I had been to several in-patient treatment centers before Narconon, but I never had any intention of doing better because I never thought I could.
For 5 years of my life I had been using cocaine, LSD, alcohol, OxyContin, marijuana and heroin on a daily basis to extreme excess. I had almost died two times from “falling out”. I had quit jobs and ran from confrontation.  I had used anger and emotion to make those around me wrong and lie to them. I had destroyed relationships with everyone, including my family and all of my friends. I broke the law and had a death wish. Before I came to Narconon, I remember my Dad saying to me, “Junior, it is not a matter of how much we love you… It is a matter of how much we like you.” Those words stuck with me and I used that as another excuse to go out and get loaded.
Narconon showed me how to confront my life and be responsible for myself and others. It helped me rebuild trust and love between myself and my family. When I arrived, I had so much worry and was concerned I wouldn’t like it or I would just want to leave. Those concerns went away so quickly. I was greeted with kindness and generosity, the likes of which I had never seen from people I had never met. I went through the Withdrawal Step and it was rough for me. It was July in Florida and VERY hot, but I made it through.
I moved on through the program with relative ease because the material made so much sense to me. It put a name to and helped me fix and re-create the areas of my life I wanted so badly to be whole and working. My favorite course was the Narconon Personal Values Course. I learned so much about myself and how the different areas of my life intertwine with each other to create a balance and that if one of those areas goes out of whack, the rest are soon to follow. Recognizing this, I had gained a level of responsibility for myself I had never had before. I was able to look at my wrongdoings and really make an effort to make those wrongs right. There was no other program I had done or had been involved with which gave me that chance.
Narconon is one of the greatest things I have ever done in my life.  Completing the Narconon Program is an accomplishment that will stick with me for the rest of my life.
I am one of the luckiest people in the entire world, to be able to have this chance and move forward without having to move any steps back!
Thank you, Narconon, for saving me!
-John R. L.

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mother son success story drug rehab
Seven years ago, I learned that my only son was addicted to drugs. This would change my life forever and his.
Upon learning of this tragedy, my devastation led me to force him into rehab after rehab which devastated his spirit and mine. It seemed as though he just went through the motions and after completing each program, he went back to the same habits he was so desperate to overcome. Finally, three and a half years ago, I detached from him. It truly was the most horrible thing I had ever had to do in my life but all the professionals helped me to do it to save his life. After a year, John had hit rock bottom. No money, no family, no love, nothing.
One day, my phone rang and it was my son. He asked me for help and wasn’t forced into getting help. He said, “Mom, I can’t go to a meeting every day and say that I am an addict and feel horrible about myself for the rest of my life.” It was at this point that we decided to find “non-traditional” rehabilitation. We found Narconon and thank God we did!
My son has learned he has the power within himself. He is the center of his own universe. This is what Narconon has empowered my son to feel; hope, control and peace. I am convinced that this program and its philosophies truly saved my son’s life. Without it, I am afraid of what would have happened to Johnny. This program has also helped me to look at addiction differently and helped me to accept my son, his philosophies and his sobriety in a very positive and loving manner.
If you, or a loved one can’t seem to find an answer to your addiction, Narconon will help you find that answer and help you to become the person that you have always been and who you were meant to be. Thank you, Narconon, for saving my son!
— Marcia L.

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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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Before doing the Narconon program, my life was in shambles. For a solid nine years of my life, I was destroying myself with drugs. During that time there was very little communication with my family. They knew who and what I had become but I didn’t want them to see it.

Arriving to so the Narconon program I saw how much the staff cared about helping the students. Then going through the New Life Detox, I can honestly say I have never felt so good in my life. I had an energy, a drive, and an attitude to do well. Physically and mentally, I had never felt better before.

After going through the Narconon Life Skills courses, I had a new outlook on life. I didn’t live with guilt anymore and I learned tools on how to live my life as a healthy, drug-free person.

I feel I now have a purpose in life and this motivates me every day to do the best I can at whatever I choose. The Narconon program saved my life.

I am forever grateful.


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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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