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Recovering the Loved One You Lost to Drug or Alcohol Addiction
Losing a loved one to addiction is one of the most terrible things that can happen. Addiction often destroys one’s dreams of a life in which a son or daughter goes to college and graduates with a career or where a couple help each other weather the rough spots of life. Addiction often destroys the hopes of a businessman who builds a company up, only to watch it crumble and die.
The loss of dreams can hit hard. It’s nearly impossible to understand why the addict doesn’t quit drinking or taking drugs. Don’t they understand what they are doing to themselves? Why don’t they quit when they say they will?
One of the worst parts of having a loved one who is addicted is worrying about what could happen. There’s a phone call you never want to get that tells you that your loved one is in jail or that they have overdosed. The solution lies in understanding what addiction really is and what the drug-free handling for that addiction is. With that knowledge, you can help the person recover from a life of addiction. It is possible to leave addiction behind for good and build a new, enjoyable drug-free life.
The person you love is still there, obscured by the addiction; the person who loves you is still there. In the vast majority of cases, that person can be restored to a happy, healthy and enjoyable life. Your dreams of a real recovery for the addict really can come true.
What is Addiction?
Addiction is a condition characterized by repeated, compulsive out of control use of drugs, alcohol or other similar substances despite adverse social, mental and physical consequences.
It is usually accompanied by psychological and physical dependence on the craved substance and the appearance of withdrawal symptoms when the person tries to reduce or stop the addiction.
When addiction exists, the drug use controls the individual rather than the individual controlling the usage.
Many of today’s illegal drugs are extremely addictive. Some are far more addictive than common illegal drugs of the past. For example, smoked methamphetamine and crack cocaine can be addictive after very short-term use. Ecstasy, a drug often used in dance clubs, can be highly addictive. A person may think they can experiment with these drugs for just a few times and then they find, to their great surprise, such is the power of these drugs, that they can’t easily quit at all.
Many pharmaceutical (doctor-prescribed) drugs are also addictive, particularly ones for depression or sleep problems. They are addictive whether they are legally obtained and used properly or are obtained illegally and abused. Abusing pharmaceutical drugs usually means that a user is taking a higher-than-recommended dosage or they are using them wrongly by injecting or smoking the substance instead of taking it by mouth.
Is Addiction a Disease?
Whether a person is genetically or biochemically predisposed to addiction or alcoholism is a controversy that has been debated for years within the scientific, medical and chemical dependency communities.
One school of thought advocates the “disease concept” which embraces the notion that addiction is an inherited disease, and that the individual is chronically ill at a genetic level, even those who experience long periods of sobriety.
Another philosophy argues that addiction is a dual problem composed of a physical and mental dependency on chemicals, compounded by a pre-existing mental disorder (i.e., clinical depression, bipolar disorder or some other mental illness) and that the mental disorder needs to be treated as the primary cause of the addiction.
A third philosophy subscribes to the idea that chemical dependency leads to permanent chemical imbalances in the brain that must be treated with psychotropic medications (drugs that act on the mind, altering mood or behavior) and sometimes antipsychotic medications after the person withdraws from the drug to which they are addicted.
While it is true that there is some research that supports each of these concepts, it is also true that none of these theories are absolute. A review of national averages shows that addiction treatment programs based on these theories result in very low recovery rates typically from 6% to zero
There is a fourth school of thought that has proven to be more accurate. To understand this concept it is necessary to understand the cycle of addiction.
This data is universally applicable to addiction, no matter which theory is used to explain the phenomenon of chemical dependency. The cycle of addiction begins with a problem, discomfort or some form of emotional or physical pain for a person. This person, like most people in our society is basically good. But he encounters a problem that is causing him physical or emotional pain and discomfort and for which he does not have an immediate solution or answer. Perhaps, as a child or teenager, he has difficulty “fitting in.”
Maybe the person is just bored stiff with everything.
Or maybe there are physical injuries such as a broken bone, a bad back or some other chronic physical condition, or the person has suffered emotional or living losses in life.
Whatever the origin of the difficulty, the discomfort associated with it presents the individual with a real problem. He feels that his problem is major, persistent and without solution or relief. Most of us have experienced some variation of this type of problem in our lives to a greater or lesser degree.
No matter the reason, some people, young or old, male or female, high income or low, begin to use alcohol or drugs to relieve the pressure or solve the problem. As neither alcohol or drugs can ever solve these kinds of problems what happens is their solution becomes a new problem.
The thing is that once the person takes the drug, he does feel some relief from his situation. Even though the relief is only temporary, the drug is now adopted as a solution to the problem and therefore, the individual now has a solution in either the drug or the drink. This temporary relief is the only reason the person ever keeps taking drugs or alcohol.
There are a couple of key factors involved in this repeating cycle that determines which ones of us become addicts and which ones do not.
The first factor is peer pressure. If, at the time of his discomfort, the person is subjected to pro-drug or pro-alcohol influences through some sort of significant peer pressure, that influence can affect his decision-making with regard to finding relief from this discomfort. Peer pressure manifests itself in many different ways. It can come from friends or family or through some channel of advertising. Peer pressure combined with relief of the discomfort or problem can determine the severity of drug use.
Second, the person felt bad in some way before he used drugs or alcohol and he feels better afterward. He now believes he has a solution.
Simply put, the bigger the problem seems to the person, the greater the discomfort the person will experience. The greater the discomfort, the more importance the person places on relieving it and the greater the value he assigns to that which brings about any relief.
The other key factor of course is if the person cannot find any other solution to his difficulties. If he has no knowledge of the causes of depression, is unaware of his what is causing his physical pain, has no understanding of why he feels bored or why he feels the way he does.
The Downward Spiral of Addiction
Those who start down the path of addiction begin to accumulate so much damage to their physical and mental health that the quality of their life rapidly deteriorates. If drug or alcohol abuse continues unchecked, eventually the person is faced with so many unpleasant circumstances that each sober moment is filled with despair and misery. All this person now wants to do is escape these feelings by medicating them away. This is the downward spiral of addiction.
For most addicts, there are only three possible outcomes: Rehab, prison or death.
The First Barrier to Recovery: Cravings
The first challenge for any addict wishing to break his addiction is overcoming the mental and physical cravings for drugs or alcohol.
Cravings are strong, uncontrollable urges to use drugs or alcohol that drive the addict to once again use addictive substances.
To get an idea of what drug cravings are like, think of a time when you went for a long time without eating a meal and you were really hungry. Hunger is a mental and physical sensation that is triggered when the body needs food for nutrients and energy.
The craving for food, driven at a physical level, stimulates memories of eating food, which is followed by a strong desire or compulsion to consume food. Usually when a person is very hungry, they will think about their favorite foods; if they get hungry enough, they can sometimes even smell and taste certain foods.
If a person goes long enough without food, compelling thoughts of eating plus a growling stomach and shakiness due to not having eaten will become so great, making the person so uncomfortable, that they will drop whatever it is they are doing and arrange to get food and eat it. As soon as the food is consumed, the hunger pangs stop and the person feels good about satisfying their hunger.
A drug craving is similar, but the desire to use drugs is much stronger and much more intense. An addict who is craving drugs will feel like life itself is dependent on getting and taking their preferred drug. They will do and say almost anything to get the drug to handle their intense cravings. Once they satisfy the craving, they feel relief until the drug wears off and the craving returns.
Drugs and alcohol burn up vital nutriments and vitamins in the body. When a body lacks certain nutrients, it cannot make some of the substances it needs for health and energy, causing a person to feel tired and moody. Depletion of certain vitamins and minerals can also cause shakes and pain.
Withdrawal symptoms and cravings can also result from the toxins (poisons) that accumulate in the body after repeated drug use. These toxins stress many of the body’s systems, resulting in fatigue, aches, pains and unclear thinking. The addicted person has learned to medicate away their mental or physical problems with drugs; this causes them to continue to use drugs as a solution whenever they feel poorly. Therefore attempting to handle addiction with more or different drugs only makes the problem worse. There are no drugs that cancel out the cravings caused by other drugs.
Storage of Drug Residues in the Body
Today it is fairly common for many companies and government agencies to drug test their employees. Through a common urinalysis test, it can be determined if the employee or applicant has taken any one of a variety of drugs.
This test of a person’s urine not only detects if they have taken drugs, it also detects what type of drugs were taken. Drug tests detect the presence of any drugs or their metabolites. Metabolites are the products left behind in the body when it has broken down a substance so it can be eliminated. Drug metabolites are like fingerprints of the drug that was taken. Cocaine produces a cocaine metabolite, opiates produce an opiate metabolite, alcohol produces an alcohol metabolite and so on.
Most drugs and alcohol are metabolized, or broken down, in the liver but all tissues in the body work at breaking down drugs or other foreign substances for elimination. Drugs and metabolites leave the body through urine, feces and sweat but they are not fully eliminated. The reason for this is that drugs are an oil based substance not water based. This means that they dissolve better in oil than in water, they have a natural affinity for fats. The body easily eliminates unwanted substances through its water based channels. Fatty substances are not so easily discharged. What happen is that residues of fat based substances that don’t get eliminated get attracted to the fatty tissues in the body. This means that any drug residues or metabolites that are not eliminated and having a natural attraction to fat get stored in the body’s fat cells.
As an example, the active chemical in marijuana is THC. (TetraHydroCannabinol) This substance is so fat-soluble that, when consumed, most of it rapidly leaves the bloodstream and lodges in the fatty tissues of the body. From there, it slowly moves back into the bloodstream over a period of weeks or even longer.
Only recently have scientists discovered that fat is actually a vital organ that produces hormones that affect our moods, energy levels and immunity. Chronic use of drugs or alcohol have been shown to disrupt this function as their deposits build up in the body fat disrupting its natural function. . This disruption is one of the factors that causes cravings, as the body attempts to correct the disturbance by craving what it lacks or a similar substance, such as the drugs that originally caused the disruption.
In the late 1970s, American author and humanitarian L. Ron Hubbard made the revolutionary discovery that drug metabolites and other toxins that were stored in the fat cells had the continuing effect of locking addicts in their addictions, and that eliminating these stored deposits was a key to full recovery. He went on to develop a fast and simple method of extracting those deposits, resulting in improved mental and physical health. This discovery was a critical step forward in the effort to resolve drug cravings.
Stored Drugs and Drug Memories
Each time a person consumes drugs or alcohol, they retain a complete recorded memory of that life experience. Whether they were happy or sad or had a good time or a bad time, all emotions, feelings and sensations that were present at the time the drug or alcohol was consumed are filed away in the person’s memory. Even if the person blacks out, the experience is still recorded in the mind.
In the case of those addicted to opiates, alcohol, tranquilizers or any other addictive drugs, they will accumulate a series of memories that contain the pain and discomfort associated with drug withdrawal.
The body will metabolize (change energy sources into energy) and burn fat cells any time a person undergoes a situation in life that causes their heart rate to speed up. Stress can do this, as can strenuous exercise or intense emotion. Most of us experience these kinds of stressful situations on a fairly regular basis.
When an addict’s body metabolizes fat, if the fat cells contain metabolites from past alcohol and drug use, those metabolites will activate back into the person’s bloodstream as the fat cells burn.
Keep in mind that each type of drug produces its own metabolite. Therefore, if alcohol metabolites were stored in the fat, once those fat cells are metabolized, the body will be reminded of alcohol at a physical level. If the person has taken cocaine, then cocaine metabolites will be released into the bloodstream and remind the body of earlier cocaine use.
The effect of these metabolites being present in the bloodstream will trigger recorded memories of drug-related experiences and discomforts from the past. The person will remember feeling and thinking like they did in the past when they were under the influence of the drug or alcohol. Or they will remember experiencing the pain and discomfort that occurred when they were coming down from the drug. This causes cravings making the person prone to use drugs or take alcohol at these times .
The Second Barrier to Successful Recovery: Depression
Depression is another factor that keeps an addict trapped in his addiction. Depression is the source of a constant and significant amount of discomfort that prompts continued drug use. It is also the second major barrier to recovery for those seeking treatment for their addictions.
Some of the traditional medical- and psychiatric-based programs diagnose and treat the depression an addict is experiencing, claiming that it is the fundamental cause of the person’s drug or alcohol problem. Psychotropic medications are usually prescribed for depression but these simply mask the symptoms. They do not bring about a cure. When the medications wear off, depression returns, often magnified. The presence of mind-altering drugs and worsening depression just makes the recovery process more difficult, if not impossible.
In most cases, depression actually manifests itself after the person becomes addicted, not before. The cause of the depression is linked to the damage done by the drugs themselves. There are physical, social and mental factors at work creating the depression and lethargy (laziness, sluggishness and apathy) experienced by addicts. On a physical level, full of poison, addicts are in an ever declining state of health. While they are high, they are in a euphoric, pain-free state of mind. They are not in a natural high as experienced by someone who has achieved something special. The are numb to the pain in the body and numb to the damage being caused by the drug or alcohol. When they become down or become sober, they have no energy and their aches and pains intensify. They are physically drained as a result of the severe nutritional deficiencies that accompany long-term drug or alcohol use.
Socially, the person’s quality of life has declined to a low level. The addict is so obsessed with finding drugs or alcohol and using them so he can function at all that he can’t focus properly on anything else. Consequently, jobs are lost, businesses are destroyed, marriages break up and children are neglected.
On a mental level, they have difficulty finding joy or happiness in anything while they are not under the influence. At some point, the addict surrenders to the idea that they must be high to experience any emotions, they must be high to celebrate an accomplishment, to escape sadness, to solve problems, enjoy sex, have meaningful relationships, work or play. The addict truly believes and operates on this principle, numb to the fact that the quality of his life and relationships with others are actually spiraling ever downward and usually at an ever increasing rate..
Why Depression Occurs in the Addict
Earlier, we mentioned the presence of drug metabolites in the addict’s system and how metabolites play a role in stimulating memories associated with drug and alcohol use. The addict’s brain also identifies the chemicals in drugs or alcohol as substances that restrict or enhance the release of naturally-occurring chemicals in the brain. In some cases, the brain identifies the chemicals in some drugs as superior to the body’s natural chemicals.
The body normally creates its own chemicals to act as a reward system that makes eating, exercising and procreating enjoyable. Other naturally-occurring chemicals act as painkillers that kick into action when we get hurt or experience pain. These natural chemicals are directly involved with promoting our physical well-being in one way or another.
Drugs and alcohol are composed of such strong chemicals that they can overpower the body’s own natural chemistry and create intoxication and euphoria.
When a person uses drugs on a regular basis, his or her body becomes depleted of key nutrients and amino acids (amino acids are the building blocks for the body’s natural chemicals). These nutritional deficiencies prevent the body from receiving the nutritional energy that it needs to produce and release the natural chemicals.
In short, drugs take over the functions of the body’s own natural chemicals. The brain and body are fooled into thinking that the drug or alcohol is the natural chemical it needs.
When drugs or alcohol are present in the addict’s system, the perception is that the body chemistry is working and all is well. When the drugs or alcohol leave the addict’s system, the brain and body perceive a shortage of natural body chemicals. This perceived shortage adds to the lethargy and lack of enjoyment experienced by the addict when he or she is not under the influence of drugs.
This condition then contributes to the compulsion and drive for an addict to take more drugs or alcohol, despite the frequently life-threatening circumstances an addict faces on a day-to-day basis.
The drug or alcohol gets misidentified as an aid to the production and release of the natural chemicals when, in fact, it is suppressing the body’s natural ability to manufacture them.
The Addict’s Lifestyle Itself Creates More Depression
The final piece of the puzzle of depression comes from addiction’s destructive effects on an addict’s life. There are broken relationships and often, problems with the law and money.
The individual starts to distance himself from the people he loves and becomes more and more detached. He may lose his job or start experiencing serious health problems. Ordinarily, addicts lose everything they care about: their homes, their families, cars, possessions, jobs and friends. Addiction is destroying the addict’s life. There is no happiness to be seen in any area of their existence.
Depression is an appropriate emotional response, considering the misery that the addict is faced with. Some psychiatrists and even medical doctors will diagnose this depressed state as a mental illness and prescribe psychotropic medications. These medications will never do anything more than mask the depression and even then it will be only temporary as no fix has really been prescribed. They may as well just take more of their preferred drug or brand of alcohol.
Psychotropic drugs do not help a person attempting recovery either restore their relationships or build a sane, drug-free life. They do nothing at all to help the person rebuild his or her health, in fact, all they do is add more toxins to the person’s system since all drugs have some toxic effect, even if minor.
Medical personnel in the addiction treatment field treating this depression as a “mental illness or disease” expect that somehow their prescribed medications will “fix” the person. Then once “fixed,” the person could then fix these situations in their life. This is an obvious irrational assumption, if you think about it.
The Third Barrier to Successful Recovery: Guilt
The third and final barrier to recovery is guilt. Guilt acts as another strap in the harness that keeps the addict trapped in his addiction.
The addict feels guilty because he has committed dishonest deeds against the people he cares about. This is an integral part of the cycle of addiction.
A person who becomes addicted to drugs or alcohol doesn’t just wake up one day and say, “Gee, I think I’ll start using drugs until I destroy my family, my relationships and my life in general.”
As discussed, addiction starts with a problem. Drugs or alcohol are chosen as a solution to relieve the discomfort one is experiencing by not being able to solve the problem. Physical and mental complications then follow. The road is never other than down hill from that point on. It goes from lying to cheating to secrecy to stealing to crime. It is never otherwise. Even the so-called recreational user is at least breaking the law and certainly has secret meetings and suppliers. He also has un-revealed difficulties or he would have no need to “relax” or “get just a bit of a lift”, etc.
This means that there can never be a complete recovery until the person has “come clean” mentally as well as physically. Remember it was a mental problem to begin with that, having no other solution, he turned to drugs to solve.
So, to be really successful, a rehabilitation program must also be able to rehabilitate the addicts character too. In fact one could say that it was a failing in integrity in the first instance that led to all the rest. Therefore if this aspect of the person is left unaddressed then a relapse is virtually guaranteed no matter how “clean” the body is made physically.
These lapses in character or transgressions (violations of rules, laws or agreements) need to be handled so they no longer hold the person back from full recovery. All guilt and associated emotions have to be neutralized/discharged in the person’s mind so they can again face their friends with affinity and respect. This requires a very exact and specialized program of drills and actions that clear this up once and for all.
Before addiction, most addicts are basically good people with a sense of right and wrong and with no intention or desire to hurt others. As the cycle of addiction progresses and the cravings and the addiction begin to dissolve the individual’s self-control, they get into situations where they are doing and saying things they know deep down aren’t true or right. All these dishonest and damaging things are done to cover up and continue their drug use.
If the pattern of abuse continues, the addict eventually becomes trapped in a vicious cycle of using drugs, hiding the fact, lying about drug use and even stealing to support more drug use. At each turn, the addict is committing more and more dishonest acts and, with each act, is creating more damage in his life and relationships. None of these acts are truly overlooked by the addict; every misdeed is committed to memory no matter how hard they try to bury them.
The memory of each misdeed includes all the surrounding circumstances in place the moment the deed was done: who was involved, the time, the place and what the end result of the dishonest deed was. The addict knows these misdeeds are wrong and because the basic person himself (not the addicted personality) is good, he will feel bad or guilty after each dishonest act is committed.
Over time, these memories of guilt accumulate. When the addict sees people or places involved in his transgressions, these sights can trigger the guilt surrounding the misdeeds. More and more transgressions are committed. And more and more, people and things related to the transgressions become triggers that remind the addict of the dishonest acts. For example, perhaps a young man steals cash from his father’s wallet and uses the money for drugs. Thereafter, whenever he sees his father, it triggers the memory of that stolen money. It can be enough just to see a person or an object to trigger the guilt! Sometimes no words even need to be said.
Guilt is an uncomfortable feeling and so can prompt the addict to use more drugs to temporarily relieve this unwanted sensation. In this way, guilt helps maintain the trap of addiction.
The addict will also begin to withdraw more and more from friends and family as the transgressions committed by the addict increase in number. He will eventually pull away from the family, seclude himself, even become antagonistic towards those he loves. Remember, the basic personality of an addict is good and the reason they end up withdrawing from those they love is because they know they are hurting the one’s they love. The act of withdrawing from those places and people that the addict has harmed is the addict’s attempt to restrain himself from committing any further transgressions toward those people and places he cares about.
In the early 60s, L. Ron Hubbard’s research resulted in a deeper understanding of man’s basic goodness and the way his behavior and attitudes change after acting this way. He then developed techniques that would enable a person to obtain relief from past misdeeds and achieve a new fresh clean start in life. When applied to the condition of addiction, these principles have totally proven out and enable addicts to fully recover from their past. Graduates from the program go on to lead productive, successful and very happy lives.
Turning the Corner to Recovery
Many forms of substance abuse counseling endeavor to create positive moral change in an addict. One of the most popular approaches is the Twelve Step program practiced by Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.
In this approach, steps four, five, eight and nine of the twelve steps involve making a life inventory of one’s wrong deeds and determining who was affected by them. Once these are identified, the addict then makes up the damage created by his destructive actions.
This recovery approach can be effective for some so long as the addict still has the social skills to be able to communicate with and interact in a group setting. He or she must also have high enough levels of confront and responsibility to admit wrongdoings and make up the damage done. If an addiction persists long enough, an addict will lose even these basic social skills.
When drug addiction begins in the teens, individuals don’t yet usually have these life skills or the opportunity to develop them. As a result, they do not perform as well in a Twelve Step program or other traditional treatment settings. In these cases, the addict needs to be educated or re-educated in these basic life skills before there can be any real hope of success in raising moral standards and bringing about permanent sobriety.
When conventional approaches are not working with a drug-addicted person, there are effective alternatives to pursue before one gives up. What has not proven effective is substitute drug treatment. Methadone, antidepressants or other prescription medications are designed to mask the symptoms of addiction that we have described. Essentially, an addict is trading one addiction for another.
These medications prevent the addict from developing the life skills necessary to restore his moral values and quality of life. Nor do they assist the individual in acquiring the necessary tools to remain sober. Thus relapse becomes inevitable.
If addiction is not a “chronic, relapsing disease” of the brain, then logic indicates that it should be able to be resolved. And that is true. When each of the real factors that cause addiction to occur are thoroughly addressed, the result is a former addict who is not now addicted, who is now healthy and who now can create a productive, enjoyable life. This is rehabilitation by actual definition.
To summarize the cycle of addiction and the most common aspects of it:
- The person encounters a problem or discomfort in life that he is having trouble dealing with or there is a physical pain or injury
- Peer pressure to use drugs is present
- The person decides to use drugs or alcohol to reduce his discomfort derived from the problem or pain, he gets relief and believes he now has an answer to his problem
- Drug-related incidents, both good and bad, are recorded in full during drug use and addiction
- Drug residues or metabolites remain in the fatty tissues of the body for extended periods of time, creating long-lasting changes that affect physical and mental health
- § Some stored metabolites are released back into the body during moments of physical or mental stress which can result in a re-experience of the original drug-related incident
- Nutrients are depleted by drug use and poor lifestyle
- Depression due to failures and losses in life and nutritional deficiencies sets in
- The addict loses control and commits dishonest acts and then feels guilty
- The addict withdraws from the people he or she has harmed
- To reduce or mask the pain of his misdeeds, ill health and damaged relationships, the addict continues to use drugs or alcohol.
And if all these aspects didn’t make addiction bad enough, if the addict decides he absolutely must give up drugs, he must first pass through the torture of withdrawal.
Eliminating addiction must start with a tolerable withdrawal process and move on to handle all the other major aspects of addiction.
The NARCONON® Drug Rehabilitation Program
The Narconon program is based on Mr. Hubbard’s research and breakthroughs in the field of drug rehabilitation. After intense research into the effects of drugs, he discovered what it would take to enable a person to recover from addiction – physically, morally, mentally and spiritually. These researches were refined into the Narconon program that exists today, with a success rate over 70%.
The program starts with a withdrawal process that is quite tolerable for most people. Nutritional supplements are used to support the body’s detoxification process and begin to alleviate depression. Gentle physical techniques are used to calm spasms, aches and pains. Gradual reorientation processes are used to help the person realize that he is now safe and in a new, completely drug-free environment. Constant monitoring tracks the person’s vital signs, appetite and sleep so staff can be sure the person is safely and comfortably coming off drugs.
I have battled with my methamphetamine addiction for over twenty years, with the last year being out of control. I have tried to get off the “ice” myself several times, always failing. The withdrawal I’ve been through at Narconon was virtually pain-free. With the help of the staff, I feel I am ready to move forward and learn how to live my life drug-free. S.D.
I would just like to say that I feel better after three or four days of withdrawal at Narconon than I did after completing 30 days of a 12-step program. This gives me hope that I can be drug-free. J.R.
As soon as the person has stably withdrawn from drugs or alcohol, he is ready to start gaining the life skills he needs to deal with his problems, instead of wiping them out with drugs or alcohol. He or she must gain basic communication skills and an ability to confront his or her problems, people and life. This is accomplished through the eight phases of the Narconon program.
The first phase is the Therapeutic Training Routines Course. This course starts by teaching the components of a real exchange of communication with understanding, followed by thorough drills to help the person develop the ability to use communication effectively in life. On this course, the student begins to improve his ability to focus, his self-control and his ability to communicate and interact with others.
As I progress through the Therapeutic Training Routines Course, I feel more energetic and emotionally stronger. I enjoy life again. I remember how to have fun and I respect all that is around. I feel as if my life had a 180-degree turn leading me toward the right way. C.L.
The next step is the innovative Narconon New Life Detoxification Program. This remarkable program has been helping people flush out drug metabolites and toxins for nearly 30 years. After receiving medical approval to start, and under continuous and close supervision, people on this program exercise to stimulate circulation, spend time in a dry sauna and take a specific regimen of vitamins and minerals proven to support thorough detoxification. The end result of this program is a person who can think more clearly and whose physical cravings have been alleviated.
In the time I have been on the New Life Detoxification Program, I have had many wins and gains. Since the first day, my mind and body have become clearer and brighter. I’m also able to notice things around me and I feel like I am in present time. I feel like all the toxins are completely gone from my body. I am ready to continue getting as many wins and gains as I can in the remainder of my program. E.G.
The next service on the Narconon program is the Learning Improvement Course. This course enables a person to identify and overcome common barriers to study and understanding. Once this is done, the person is able to benefit more fully from all the steps of study and application that follow.
Learning the study technology is an extremely valuable asset to my program here at Narconon. It is a great tool I can apply in my life after I graduate. I now know how to study and what to do when I have any problems with learning. I feel much more confident and prepared to study and learn about a new subject. B.R.
The Communication and Perception Course follows. Anyone who is around an addict can see that the addict suffers from disabilities in communicating and perceiving his real environment. Even after he stops using drugs or alcohol, a person may be fixed in past experiences and not be able to enjoy the life he is currently living.
The Communication and Perception Course is designed to bring the person fully back into communication with his current environment and to restore his perceptions of the real world. The student gains self-control, an enhanced ability to perceive the environment and improved skills in identifying and solving life’s problems. Seeing the world as it really exists is an essential part of relieving depression and guilt and leaving addiction far behind.
This course has helped me so much. It has changed the way I think and act. I have more determination and motivation to get things done. I’m happy because I am more secure with myself. D.S.
I feel truly amazing. I’ve had many wins and realizations. The realization I had today has made me happier than any realization I’ve had yet. I realized that since I was young, I always had a vision of what my life would be like. Once I started to use drugs, this vision slowly diminished to the point where I didn’t care whether I lived or died. When I first stopped doing drugs and came to Narconon, I knew I wanted to live, but did not have high hopes for myself and didn’t think I could amount to much of anything. This course has made me much more extroverted and a much happier person. I now not only have that vision back, but it is now a reality that I am in the process of obtaining. I’m finally confident in my abilities and know that I will continue to better my life and remain as happy as I am now. V.A.
To avoid situations that would lead to drug use in the future, a person must be able to identify true friends and isolate those whose company would lead back into trouble, drug use and addiction. This essential life skill is developed on the Ups and Downs in Life Course. By doing this course, a person learns how poor decisions regarding friends and acquaintances damaged his life in the past, and how to make improved choices in the future.
After completing the Ups and Downs in Life Course, I now fully understand how to spot people who should not be in my life and how to help others that are being negatively affected by such people. With this knowledge I can be sure that I will never let others bring me down or let their actions affect me. I can help others who are afflicted by this type of problem. J.D.
The next course constitutes a critical step forward for the former addict. On the Personal Values and Integrity Course, a person learns about personal ethics, how integrity is lost and exactly how it can be restored. This study is followed by the restoration procedure whereby a person gains relief from the trauma and guilt of his misdeeds. By the end of this course, a person has improved his ability to survive well and create a new life for himself. He no longer feels guilty about his past and he is able to move forward into a positive future.
Today, I actually saw where I went wrong in my life. I’ve found in myself that I’ve gained more control over myself than
Because drug or alcohol use often stems from an inability to deal with challenging situations, former addicts must learn better problem-solving skills. This is addressed on the Changing Conditions in Life Course. In this course, a person learns that any situation can be resolved while keeping one’s integrity intact. The exact procedures to follow to make choices about survival and resolve personal conflicts are taught and then applied to one’s life.
Working with the information on the Changing Conditions in Life Course has given me a tangible outline of real and workable solutions to improving conditions in my life. There is a confidence in me that if I simply follow these steps exactly and don’t deviate from them, there is no possible way for me to mess up these areas of my life. That’s a feeling I’ve never experienced before – confidence in my ability to improve. T.C.
And finally, the person gets a brand new look at how to live a moral life that leads to personal happiness. This achieved through a special secular morals course called The Way To Happiness.
The Way to Happiness ®
The materials for this course have been used around the world, in businesses, war zones, schools and jails to help people learn to live happier lives, and it is an essential part of the Narconon program. This is not a book of lectures or religious sins. It has a number of very practical exercises that follow the study which provide a person with a solid reality and understanding on where he has gone wrong and exactly how he can do better in the future.
The Way To happiness Course refreshed my memory on how I should approach my health, my life, and my relationships. It is a reminder of how I was raised; its basis of common sense makes it easy to understand conceptually and in application. I enjoyed recalling the information that is so easily forgotten when proper attention is not given to it. S.J.
Addiction is not unravelled in days. Each person progresses at their own pace, usually completing the program in three to four months. This gives them the time and support they need to actually rebuild a new life from the ground up to replace the one that was destroyed by drugs or alcohol.
The end result for the family is that they have their loved one back. The end result for the graduate is a drug-free and productive life, free also from cravings, depression and guilt.
Graduate Success Stories
When I came to Narconon I was a very broken individual. I did not know who I was or what I wanted out of this life. I was physically, mentally and emotionally dead. Not only from drugs and alcohol, but from mental and emotional abuse. Every step of the way, this program has brought me a little bit more out of the hole that I was in. Today I love myself and know who I am. I have goals and purpose. I know what direction I want to go and I am no longer lost. I have no more fear, shame or guilt. No more anxiety or depression. I am clean of all toxins. I am happy and comfortable with myself. I am whole now and love myself. J.S.
When I began the Narconon program, I thought I was going to be in and out just like the other rehabs I went to. But as I went through the program, I regained so much of my self-esteem and my ability to learn. Also, I learned that I don’t need drugs to have a good life. Going through the program and being around people who went through things just like me was a tremendous win. Now, I feel great. It is wonderful. I have myself and my family back, thanks to the Narconon program. D.G.
When I came to Narconon, I had been fighting a battle with drugs and was losing the battle. I was out of bullets and had no control over my life. I knew that I needed help, but did not honestly think anything could be done because I was in too deep with an unethical lifestyle of crime and drug use. I was a terrible, dishonest son, a disloyal, non-supportive father and husband. My mom never gave up on my ability to get help and turn my life around. She got me here to Narconon. This program starts off great and keeps getting better. I have gained the ability to properly communicate with people. By completing the sauna program, I feel so much better and have regained a clear body and mind. I realized that I am aware of my life and I am in present time and no longer dwell on past problems that kept me held up in life. I have regained the ability to be in full control of my life and make conscious, wise decisions. I know that I can have anything in life I want. Books five, six, seven and eight were all great books and the course supervisors are amazing at what they do and I will never forget them. I my biggest win of the program learning to change the conditions of my life. I now know what I must do to survive well. I will soon be back on the battleground at home but thanks to the Narconon staff and technology I learned, I have plenty of bullets to fight back with. I am confident in myself and know I am finally ready to return home to my family and remain drug-free forever. R.K.
I ever had in my life. I also know that I’m going in the right direction for the first time in my life. You know, I do know it’s true that people do learn from their mistakes. Being actually able to pinpoint where I went wrong in my life has given me a total understanding of myself. I know what not to do and what I need to do. I can say that I’m a much better person than I’ve ever been and now I’m ready to put my actual abilities and energy into something positive. J.G.
Starting more than forty years ago, the Narconon program began to be developed to address and fully handle each of these components of addiction. Narconon was established through a collaboration between William “Willie” Benitez, a convict imprisoned in the Arizona State Penitentiary and L. Ron Hubbard. In 1965 , Willie decided he must set up a Narcotic Foundation that could eliminate addictions such as his. He called his program Narconon for “NARCOtics-NONe.”
In the prison library, Willie found the book Fundamentals of Thought by Mr. Hubbard and started a correspondence with the author, telling him of his intention to develop a solution to addiction. Mr. Hubbard responded warmly to William Benitez’s request for help with his program and made his innovative discoveries in drug and alcohol rehabilitation available as the program progressed. With the help of prison administrators, Willie started his Narconon program on February , 1966. For the remainder of his sentence, Willie used Mr. Hubbard’s materials to help addicts inside the prison overcome their addictions.
Willie completed his prison term and was released in October 1967 . He moved to California to expand the Narconon organization and to make it available to persons in need. Mr. Hubbard and his organizations supported the effort, resulting in worldwide expansion.
Today, the Narconon program has spread from that one program in the Arizona State Prison to include community programs in many states in the United States and countries such as Denmark, Italy, Holland, Germany, France, Sweden, Spain, Canada, Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Colombia, Switzerland, New Zealand, South Africa, Ghana, the United Kingdom, Australia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Argentina and Brazil.
How You Can Help an Addict
If you know someone who needs help with addiction please take the time to thoroughly inspect the treatment programs available. Determine how these programs address the problems of addiction with your new understand of them from what you have just read. Find out what their long-term recovery rate is and ask them how they measure their success.
Drug rehabilitation does not have to be a revolving door if you take the time and effort to do your research. In most every case, you can have the person you love back in your life by selecting a proven, effective program that addresses all the causes of addiction and handles them thoroughly. There is definitely every reason to have hope for the future and hope for a complete recovery.
Are You At Your Wits End?
Is This What You Are Thinking?
“There seems to be no way to get him to stop lying, stealing and using drugs. He went to three rehab programs but was using again in hours.
How Would You Rather Be Able To Say
“Then we found Narconon. It’s a different kind of program. It wasn’t over in twenty-eight days – it took longer than that for him/her get clean and to put a new life together but he/she did it. Gradually, we recovered the son/daughter/loved one we lost to drugs. Our prayers were answered.”
Know How to Bring About a Recovery From Drug or Alcohol Addiction
When someone you care about is addicted to drugs or alcohol, there’s not a moment to waste. Call us today.
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