Narconon Tijuana Expands with New Women’s Center

narconon tijuana womens center opening Narconon Tijuana Expands with New Womens CenterIt’s been seventeen months since Narconon Tijuana began officially delivering addiction recovery services to men in Baja California. In April 2014, those services were for the first time made available to woman who have lost their way to drug or alcohol abuse.

Narconon Tijuana offers these services in a beautiful residential facility that is operated in liaison with the Archdiocese of Tijuana. In the very early days, the first male students in recovery helped build the center while they pursued their own Narconon program studies, supervised by Narconon International staff. Some of those who completed the program stayed on to train up to become Narconon staff the new center when it opened.

narconon tijuana womens center Narconon Tijuana Expands with New Womens CenterThe friendly connection between the Catholic Church and the Narconon recovery technology makes this center somewhat unique. The center’s executive director Jorge Loaiza said, “Narconon Tijuana is different. It’s a ‘Catholic’ Narconon.  In preparation for this, we have had two Sisters from the Samaritan Order in training since the beginning of this year.”

The two nuns, Samaritans of Jesus and Mary of Guadalupe, have been learning to deliver the eight-step rehab program. They also provide spiritual counsel to those who may be struggling along the road from addicted to sober. Sister Angelica explained, “These Narconon staff training courses have given us the ability to learn about and better understand addicted persons. It is really helping us to serve our community.”

Her colleague Sister Veronica clarified their role in the rehab program. “As religious Samaritans, we pray for the inner salvation of persons,” she said. “But with these new Narconon tools we are learning to help women not just in the spiritual area, but physically as well.”

The two Sisters sometimes meet with the women in the prayer space of the drug rehab facility, an action that Loaiza said, “has benefited them very much. It is easier to work with them. They seem more at ease.”

narconon tijuana road race Narconon Tijuana Expands with New Womens CenterThe opening was celebrated with a variety of festivities, including a staff-student (and Sisters) basketball tournament the night before, and a race through the neighborhood, complete with tossed powder paint and water by laughing observers. There were prizes for children and a drug education lecture from a young man, similar to those lectures Narconon Tijuana delivers in area schools.

There’s no part of the world where addiction overlooks women. Sadly, around the world, the percentage of women that receive treatment is much lower than men. Now in Tijuana, women can get Narconon help as well as men. “The role of women in society is very sensitive,”said president at Narconon Tijuana Padre Jaime Lares to the gathering of friends. “When a woman injures herself in drug addiction, the harm is much greater as children are in her care. So when we help women recover, we work for the future.”

For more information on Narconon Tijuana, please visit espanol.narconon.org or, if you know someone who needs help, call 1-800-775-8750 in English, or to speak to someone in Spanish call 1-800-210-3060.

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Recent Marijuana Death in Colorado Spurs Question of the Wisdom of Condoning Cannabis

smoking marijuana risks Recent Marijuana Death in Colorado Spurs Question of the Wisdom of Condoning CannabisWhat happened recently is that a 19-year-old African at a Colorado college tried marijuana (legally) for the first time while visiting a friend during Spring Break — eating a pot-laced cookie. This was his first use of marijuana — it was severe. After getting hostile and aggressive, he went to bed but then got up in the middle of the night and jumped to his death from a fourth-floor balcony.

With this in mind, the executive director of Narconon Redwood Cliffs questions whether or not widely tolerating use of marijuana is wise for youth or adults. Angie Manson is the director of the Narconon center located in Watsonville, California.

“We must evaluate the new tolerance toward this drug against the possible harm it can do,” said Manson. “As adults and parents, we are charged with helping our young people grow up safely and the presence of a thriving marijuana industry can easily send the wrong message.”

To address the use of drugs by youth, some organizations take the view that they should teach children to use drugs “responsibly.” For example, the Drug Policy Alliance publishes a booklet called Safety First that is distributed to Parent-Teacher Associations advises, “Some psychologists argue that given the nature of our culture, teenage experimentation with legal and illegal mind-altering substances should not be considered abnormal or deviant behavior.”

According to the website for the National Association of School Psychologists, this Safety First booklet has been issued as an official association communiqué to its members and the website Marijuana.com states that this booklet has been sent to all Parent-Teacher Association groups in California.

“Our viewpoint is now and has always been one hundred eighty degrees different than this,” said Manson. “Our approach is to educate youth on the harm that results from the abuse of any drug, including alcohol, and what can be accomplished in life by being one hundred percent drug-free. We teach this in the community and we endorse the drug-free principles of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University.”

The longtime director of this center, abbreviated CASA, is Joseph Califano, who wrote the book How to Raise a Drug-Free Kid. In that book, he says, “Nearly two decades of CASA research demonstrate that a child who gets through age twenty-one without smoking, abusing alcohol or using illegal drugs is virtually certain never to do so.”

redwood cliffs drug ed presentation Recent Marijuana Death in Colorado Spurs Question of the Wisdom of Condoning CannabisNarconon Redwood Cliffs visits schools and groups all over the San Francisco Bay Area to teach kids about the way drug abuse can bring about lasting harm, and how having goals in life help one stay sober and free from harm or addiction. Each year, their Narconon drug educators provide drug education classes to civic groups, schools, youth clubs and other interested groups, typically reaching more than 20,000 people a year.

To further help youth stay sober, Narconon has created free or low-cost drug education materials for parents and communities, including: 10 Things Parents May Not Know about Marijuana, 10 Things Parents May Not Know about Prescription Drug Abuse, and Talking to Kids About Drugs and 10 Things Your Friends May Not Know about Drugs.

“We’re doing everything we can to enable young people to grow up safe and drug-free,” said Manson. “We strongly believe that our studied, evaluated drug education method is an effective way to help kids stay productive and safe from the tragedies of overdose or addiction. We believe that this is what parents truly want help with.”

http://www.marijuana.com/threads/safety-first-a-reality-based-approach-to-teens-drugs-and-drug-education.157329/

http://www.nasponline.org/publications/cq/cq334safetyfirst.aspx

http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-colorado-pot-woes-20140407,0,5725785.story#ixzz2yuhAyBmb

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Narconon Flanks Marijuana Push Across US with Empirically-tested Drug Education Program

The legalization of marijuana continues its march across the US, with twenty states and the District of Columbia so far approving medical use of the drug. As has been amply covered in the media, two states – Washington and Colorado – have even legalized recreational use. What message does this send to American youth and what will the effects of this message be?

“According to a recent survey that’s part of the annual Monitoring the Future report, fewer young people perceive harm in using marijuana,” said Clark Carr, president of Narconon International. Narconon is a non-profit organization dedicated to reducing drug abuse and addiction internationally. “It’s no wonder, since so many youth see medical dispensaries in their towns and may even see cannabis being grown. It could be several years before we see the effects of this change in thinking but by that time, we will have many more using this drug, many developing an unhealthy habit.”

According to treatment admissions monitored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, more than 400,000 people are admitted to rehab with a primary addiction to marijuana. Since only about one in ten people who need treatment gets it, this suggests that more than four million Americans may be addicted to this drug.

 Narconon Flanks Marijuana Push Across US with Empirically tested Drug Education Program

Narconon drug educator in the classroom

“When marijuana is abused as a teen, there’s a one in six chance of that person becoming addicted,” said Carr, citing a teen addiction statistic published by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. “It is essential that our youth know the risks which is why Narconon drug educators around the world are bringing our proven drug prevention curriculum to schools and clubs.”

In 2008, a peer-reviewed science study on the Narconon high school drug education curriculum was published in the Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy journal. The study noted that lectures utilizing the Narconon curriculum resulted not just in positive changes in student attitudes, but reductions in their use of alcohol and other drugs. “At six month follow-up, youths who  Narconon Flanks Marijuana Push Across US with Empirically tested Drug Education Programreceived the Narconon drug education curriculum,” the study states, “showed reduced drug use compared with controls across all drug categories tested. The strongest effects were seen in all tobacco products and cigarette frequency followed by marijuana. There were also significant reductions measured for alcohol and amphetamines. The program also produced changes in knowledge, attitudes and perception of risk.”

“In these medical marijuana states, it’s critical that youth understand marijuana risks,” added Carr. “Just consider – the Monitoring the Future report notes that thirty-four percent of high school seniors who live in medical marijuana states say that one of the ways they get the drug is through someone else’s medical marijuana prescription.”

Answering the call to protect youth from starting marijuana use is Narconon Redwood Cliffs of Northern California. Full-time staff at this rehab and prevention center reach nearly 30,000 children across the San Francisco Bay Area each year. The eight components of the complete Narconon curriculum teach youth what drugs are, what their lasting effects are, and how pursuing personal goals can help keep one drug-free and happier. After these classes, students fill out surveys, many saying that they have changed their minds and will not now use or will stop using drugs.

In countries as diverse as Colombia, Nepal, Italy, Taiwan, South Africa, and the United States, Narconon drug prevention services have received the thanks and recognition of legislators and other government officials. For more information on the Narconon drug prevention curriculum or the Narconon drug rehabilitation program, call 1-800-775-8750.

References:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2330037/

http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=002481

https://treaties.un.org/pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=VI-19&chapter=6&lang=en

http://www.drugabuse.gov/news-events/news-releases/2013/12/sixty-percent-12th-graders-do-not-view-regular-marijuana-use-harmful


http://www.substanceabusepolicy.com/content/3/1/8

http://www.drugabuse.gov/sites/default/files/teens_brochure_2013.pdf

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Across Latin American, Narconon First Step Brings Help to Many Thousands Trapped in Addiction

veracruz first step workshop Across Latin American, Narconon First Step Brings Help to Many Thousands Trapped in Addiction

First Step Workshop Attendees in Uruapan Mexico

From Mexico to Guatemala, Narconon International has been providing workshops and training services that have made addiction recovery more certain for thousands of the addicted. This help goes back several years, to the time when Narconon began delivering workshops to Twelve Step recovery centers in Michoacán. Those workshops focused on methods long used in Narconon rehab centers to assist a new arrival in getting through a tolerable withdrawal and starting to truly engage in their own recovery.

Over the last several years, interest in receiving these more of these workshops has grown dramatically. So the scope of service has recently increased to include delivery to the indigenous peoples of Oaxaca and the mountains of Veracruz. Laura Capaceta, a volunteer from Narconon International, explained: “Few people if any reach up into the remote areas of Mexico to help Indian tribes like these from La Sierra de Zongolica” she said. Laura is from Mazatlán, Sinaloa and works with Narconon to help Latin Americans learn these effective rehab tools. “These indigenous peoples have been impacted hard by the narcotrafficking wars. They’ve told me that hundreds of their village men have been kidnapped into narco gangs. Now they themselves are learning how to help their own young drug addicts to recover not just from drugs, but from criminality and the ways of war.”

The most recent workshops in these regions were delivered in both Spanish and Nahuatl, an ancient language from these remote regions. Translations are in progress to so these remote rehabs can take the workshop materials back to their centers for use by the staff and clientele.

Rehab directors across Latin America who received the training have been enthusiastic about the help they received, and more than one hundred rehabs have implemented the tools they were taught. As new people enter these rehabs, they are now supported with specific regimens of vitamins and minerals, calming and reorienting exercises and the booklet The Way to Happiness. This simple booklet helps each person recover the sense of morality and ethical living that was driven out by drug abuse. The directors found that the addition of these features strengthened the Twelve Step programs that were already being offered.

uruapan first step workshop Across Latin American, Narconon First Step Brings Help to Many Thousands Trapped in Addiction

First Step workshop with the children’s center in Michoacan.

But the path of these rehabs was seldom easy and calm. Michoacán suffers from heavy gang activity and violence between the gangs. Arturo, the director of five rehab centers, received this training, implemented these techniques and promoted them in his region. Apparently this did not sit well with these gangs, as Arturo was kidnapped and murdered.

The use of these techniques continues in other Michoacán rehabs. The techniques are referred to by the name Primer Paso – in the US, these services are called the Narconon First Step.

The popularity of these services has spread far, resulting in the opening of a rehab center in Tijuana that utilizes the full range of Narconon rehab technology. After a 2010 workshop was delivered by Laura Capaceta and Clark Carr, president of Narconon International, Padre Jaime Lares of a Narcotics Anonymous center wanted to learn more. Over the next two years, Padre Lares recruited staff to deliver this full program and got them fully trained to supervise its delivery. Now, individuals who wish to learn about the Primer Paso program are learning to deliver these steps at this new Narconon center in Tijuana.

Luis Fernando from Medellín, Colombia reached out to Narconon Tijuana to receive this training. First, he saved his son from the destruction of addiction and then they began to work together to save others. When Luis found Primer Paso, he traveled to Tijuana for the training. A rehab director from Guatemala is also traveling to Tijuana for this training and the internship that follows. Doctors and others from Mexico, Peru and other countries are hearing about the improvements in recovery available from using these tools, and have inquired about training for their areas.

narconon tijuana workshop Across Latin American, Narconon First Step Brings Help to Many Thousands Trapped in Addiction

Laura Capaceta instructing at workshop in Tijuana.

“We are very happy to see the interest being generated in these techniques,” said Carr. “Now, anyone in Latin American has access to these tools through the training program at Narconon Tijuana.” The Narconon First Step is based on long-tested and proven methods that Narconon adopted from the works and research of American author and humanitarian L. Ron Hubbard. Narconon is not a religious program, but accepts persons from any and all religions, helping them or training them to help others. “The communal and personal damage caused by the drugs epidemic in Latin America is fierce,” added Carr, “but something can be done about it. And Narconon and its many Latin American friends and volunteers are doing it.”

For more information on the Narconon First Step, visit www.narconon.org or call 800-775-8750.

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Narconon Brings Urgent Information to Public Attention on Deadly New Drug

synthetics abuse guide cover Narconon Brings Urgent Information to Public Attention on Deadly New DrugFor the past few years, illicit drug manufacturers and drug dealers have had a successful formula for expanding their business: keep creating new substances in the lab and sell them as ‘recreational’ drugs. It has been successful for the makers and dealers but all too often catastrophic for the buyers. So when the European Monitoring Centre on Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) issued an alert on a brand new drug, Narconon International rushed to update their online drug information and followed it with a broad news release to the public.

“Our purpose is to prevent drug abuse wherever possible and help substance users to recover fully,” said Clark Carr, president of Narconon International. “One of the ways we carry that purpose out is to provide complete information on drugs that are being consumed and sold so that parents, counselors, teachers and professionals can find knowledge about them on our website.”

The new drug is nicknamed ‘4-methyl-euphoria,’ among other names. At the time of the recent alert from the EMCDDA, it was legal in all its member countries. This drug is a strong and dangerous stimulant, a derivative of 4-methylaminorex, an illegal drug with an effect similar to methamphetamine. Sold in both powder and tablet form, 4-methyl-euphoria has killed 8 people in Hungary and 18 in the UK. If one is not a chemist, there is no way to tell if a tablet or vial of powder contains this substance.

“This is typical criminal drug manufacturer behavior – twist an illegal drug chemically into a substance that is not yet declared illegal, then sell it to young people who are just looking to have a good time,” said Carr. “It takes time to put these criminals out of business. In the meantime, parents and others who have relationships with teens and young adults can help by taking time to talk to them about these new synthetic chemicals, making it very clear that using them can be a deadly activity.”

To help, Narconon International has published a complete guide to dealing with the problem of synthetic drug abuse. This category includes drugs referred to as synthetic cannabinoids (meaning like cannabis or marijuana), nicknamed Spice or K2, and ‘bath salts’ which are composed of dangerous chemicals that cause paranoia, hallucinations and psychosis.

Spice has been linked to tens of thousands of emergency room visits, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Bath salts have been linked to homicide and suicide as noted in the Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine.

The new guide from Narconon International, titled What You Can Do about Synthetic Dug Abuse, is available as a free download on this web page: http://www.narconon.org/drug-abuse/synthetics/what-you-can-do.html.

“It is our hope that parents and others who work with young people will use our information to prevent the use and possibility of harm from these unpredictable and dangerous chemicals,” concluded Carr.

For more information on Narconon drug prevention or rehabilitation, call 1-800-775-8750.

http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/news/2014/europol-emcdda1

http://www.samhsa.gov/data/2k12/DAWN105/SR105-synthetic-marijuana.pdf

http://www.ccjm.org/content/79/4/258.full

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In Oklahoma, Day of Music, Speeches and Awards Mark 48th Anniversary of Narconon Founding

arrowhead anniversary crowd In Oklahoma, Day of Music, Speeches and Awards Mark 48th Anniversary of Narconon FoundingOn Saturday, March 8, 2014, Narconon Arrowhead opened wide its doors to graduates, their families, and neighbors from the community to celebrate the 48th anniversary of the Narconon rehab program. In 1966, the founder of Narconon, William Benitez, realized he had found the solution to his own longterm heroin addiction. Despite being incarcerated in Arizona at the time, he made up his mind to start a drug-free rehab program that would be called Narconon.

narconon arrowhead gary smith In Oklahoma, Day of Music, Speeches and Awards Mark 48th Anniversary of Narconon FoundingWhile in prison, Mr. Benitez received a copy of a book from American author and humanitarian L. Ron Hubbard. He realized that this book offered him an effective method to recover from his own addiction. First, he offered this method to other inmates, and once he was released, began to help others on the outside. This decision to help has grown into a network of more than 100 rehab and prevention centers located on six continents.

On this Saturday afternoon, the celebration started with a song presented by a student on the Narconon rehab program. Sally performed Sally’s Song, a tribute to the changes she was able to make at Narconon Arrowhead to recover from her addiction. She was followed by Gary Smith, the executive director of Narconon Arrowhead, who told the story of the program’s origins and growth.

A recent graduate of the program, Dillon, then explained to the group what recovery meant to him and his family who had come to see his graduation ceremony. He was followed by Dena Boman, a graduate of the Narconon program who has made her life’s work helping others in need find sobriety.

narconon arrowhead awards In Oklahoma, Day of Music, Speeches and Awards Mark 48th Anniversary of Narconon FoundingIn the awards portion of the event, the United Methodist Church in Canadian, Oklahoma received a trophy and thanks for their goodwill activities. Each Sunday, the church sends a van to pick up Narconon students who wish to attend services, and offers social and fellowship activities after the services. “They help far more people than just Narconon students and graduates with their outreach,” said Gary Smith. “Anyone who needs guidance in leading a positive life can find a helping hand at the United Methodist Church.”

Also awarded were the Reverend James and Cleo McLaughlin who were thanked for their many years helping those needing comfort and rehabilitation. Then another graduate of the program, Hank, now a member of a Christian rock band, took the stage with some friends to provide more musical enjoyment.

arrowhead anniversary speaker In Oklahoma, Day of Music, Speeches and Awards Mark 48th Anniversary of Narconon FoundingNarconon Arrowhead also welcomed Charles Smith, a local resident, to the podium. Mr. Smith treated the group to stories about the early days of the lodge and how revenue from the lodge helped finance utility improvements in neighboring areas.

In all, approximately 100 people celebrated this anniversary of the Narconon program. “Every day, we are grateful for the support and contributions of our neighbors,” concluded Gary Smith. “We are happy to return drug-free citizens to our communities but we could not do this job year after year without this support. We are glad to have their participation in our forty-eighth anniversary event.”

For more information on the Narconon rehabilitation program or Narconon Arrowhead, please call 1-800-775-8750.

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The Narconon program – 1966 to 2014: Celebrating Forty-Eight Years of Saving Lives!

first narconon program 1966 The Narconon program   1966 to 2014: Celebrating Forty Eight Years of Saving Lives!

First Narconon Program inside the Arizona State Prison, 1966.

On February 19, 1966, an Arizona State Prison inmate jumped down from his bunk and scratched a note on the calendar in his cell. The inmate was William Benitez and his decision was to start a prison-based drug rehab program to be called “Narconon”(no-drugs). It was to be based on the humanitarian works of author L. Ron Hubbard. Today, that rehab program has grown to more than 100 rehab or prevention centers on six continents around the world. On February 19, 2014, both drug rehab and drug prevention centers in the Narconon network prepared to celebrate their 48th anniversary.

first narconon center 1973 The Narconon program   1966 to 2014: Celebrating Forty Eight Years of Saving Lives!

First Narconon Center. Los Angeles, 1973.

“We’ve come such a long way from the early days of that behind-the-bars rehab program with a dozen students,” said Clark Carr, president of Narconon International. “In these forty-eight years, we have graduated more than 40,000 people and maintained a high success rate. I’m very proud of the many recognitions and commendations we have received from governments and institutions around the world. But the heartfelt thanks of thousands of families is what really counts, don’t you think?”

In its nearly five decades, Narconon staff and volunteers have also reached out to young people and corporations, providing drug education presentations to more than 16 million persons. International and domestic recognitions for the drug rehab and prevention efforts of Narconon centers have come from locations as diverse as Nepal, Colombia, Sweden, the Philippines, Italy, Albania, Ghana, Oklahoma, California, Connecticut and Hawaii.

A few of these recognitions can be found here:

Nepal: http://www.narconon.org/history/2009/government-nepal-minister-commends-narconon.html
Italy: http://www.narconon.org/history/2010/narconon-merit-recognized-stella-alpina-verona-italy.html
Oklahoma: http://www.narconon.org/history/2010/narconon-arrowhead-day.html
US Department of the Navy: http://www.narconon.org/history/2008/acknowledgement-letter-department-of-the-navy.html

nepal anti drug march The Narconon program   1966 to 2014: Celebrating Forty Eight Years of Saving Lives!

Nepal anti-drug march

“In our work, we have allied our efforts with all the world’s major religions, including Catholics and Protestants, Jews and Muslims,” said Carr. “This is a vital job, helping good people recover their interest in life, regaining personal ethics and productivity.”

Carr commented on the success of one 2011 Narconon graduate, Kate, who recovered from an opiate addiction. After having descended to the point where she spent seven months living in her car, she had to search out a good Samaritan to take her in when the harsh Wisconsin winter arrived. She had tried enrolling in methadone programs but that failed to help her get sober. Finally her mother found Narconon drug rehab and that helped Kate not only to get sober, but also to recover her brightness and pleasure in life. The new life skills she gained on the program enabled her to regain her productivity and focus on future goals.

narconon arrowhead center The Narconon program   1966 to 2014: Celebrating Forty Eight Years of Saving Lives!

Narconon Arrowhead Rehab Center

“Seeing someone bright and capable like Kate win lasting sobriety as they go through our rehab program means so much to every staff member and executive of Narconon,” said Carr. “We plan to expand our services in 2014 and beyond to provide service wherever and as long as there are people who need recovery.”

For more information on Narconon programs, call 1-800-775-8750.

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Philip Seymour Hoffman and his “Demons”

As more information has become available about the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman, it’s possible to see the pattern of his self-destruction.

heroin opioids Philip Seymour Hoffman and his DemonsLast year, Hoffman entered a detox facility somewhere on the East Coast. After ten days, he left and went to work on a film titled “God’s Pocket.” The story of his visit to rehab was that he had been snorting heroin for a week or so before going to detox. After a couple of decades of sobriety, he had started using prescription drugs and then progressed to heroin.

It appears that his sobriety lasted for a while, but he began renting an apartment separate from his family in October. Anyone who has ever had a drug problem knows that a severe loss like this can drive a person to find relief in the way that always worked before – drug or alcohol abuse.

When Hoffman was found, he still had a needle in his arm. This means that the heroin he was injecting was far more powerful than he expected. Law enforcement personnel found nearly 50 full bags of heroin in his apartment, and dozens of empty ones. Also found in his apartment were pills of a muscle relaxer, an anti-anxiety drug, a stimulant used for those said to suffer from ADHD, a blood pressure medication and buprenorphine, a synthetic opiate used in the treatment of addiction.

One news report talked about Hoffman’s diaries in which he referred to drug deals, people he owed money to and his “demons” that he fought by attending support meetings in New York.

The craving for drugs and the belief that they can provide relief from problems can make a person feel like there is no other choice but to continue to use drugs. It was said that Hoffman entered rehab so he could stay clean and sober for his family. Perhaps when that family broke up, he lost his grip on that reason.

This tragic example makes it clear why drug rehab must do far more than just give a person clean and sober time. It must help a person build a new life to replace the one that was destroyed by drugs. A person must feel like he can set new goals and achieve them. He must have the life skills to enable him to overcome setbacks without relapse.

Hoffman is certainly not the only person who needed recovery to save his life. I am very proud of the fact that I have spent much of my life making the Narconon rehab program available to people in just his situation. I hope I have contributed to lives being saved that otherwise would have been lost to drugs like heroin, prescription opiates or alcohol.

 

______________________________

References:

http://hollywoodlife.com/2014/02/03/philip-seymour-hoffman-family-separated-children-death-drug-overdose/

http://variety.com/2013/film/news/philip-seymour-hoffman-leaves-drug-rehab-1200490532/

http://www.tmz.com/2014/02/03/philip-seymour-hoffman-drinking-bar-drug-overdose-rehab-atlanta/

http://www.tmz.com/2014/02/04/philip-seymour-hoffman-dead-heroin-overdose-prescription-drugs-muscle-relaxers/

 

 

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Marijuana — They Say it’s Not a Starter Drug

marijuana addiction Marijuana — They Say it’s Not a Starter DrugI’ve just done a dozen interviews of people who have gone through the Narconon program to find out what drug they started with. In every case but one, these people were using marijuana at the beginning of their drug use. Sometimes with alcohol, sometimes not. In only one case, the person was just drinking and not smoking weed.

If you read the materials from the pro-marijuana lobbyists, they scoff at the idea that marijuana abuse leads to the use of harder drugs. I would never say that every person who uses marijuana goes on to use harder drugs, but of these people I talked to today, once they were smoking pot (and maybe sloshing it up with alcohol as well), it sure was easy for them to start using something else.

There’s a National Institute on Drug Abuse statistic – one in nine people who abuse marijuana will become addicted. But if a person starts using the drug in their teens, the statistic is one in SIX.

However, there is another statistic that no one ever talks about. How many people who start smoking marijuana eventually end up addicted to some other drug?

I don’t have the answer to that question. I wish I did.

The Common Progression

Among my interviewees, there was such a consistent pattern. They started drinking with their friends or they would go to a party and many of their friends were smoking pot. Maybe they smoked pot for a while, but then they would finally migrate — usually to cocaine, sometimes to heroin. One person migrated to methamphetamine.

It was so easy to start using drugs. Their “friends” were saying how cool it was, how it chills you out. When they smoked pot, their problems seemed “so far away.” Everyone seemed to be doing okay. No one was dying.

But when you migrate to heroin or prescription pills, it is more than likely that some people will die. Even just using alcohol and benzodiazepines (tranqs) together, they could stop breathing and die.

The Only Sure Safety

I try to tell parents that the only safety for their children is complete freedom from any drug abuse. I am not saying that an adult can’t have a glass of wine or a beer. That’s not alcohol abuse. Abuse is when your life suffers as a result of your consumption but you keep using the substance anyway.

I am saying that there should be no illicit drugs abused at all. And if prescription drugs are used, they should be used only as a doctor specifically orders and only for as long as he orders. Even then, you might want to pay attention to using that drug for as short a period as possible.

Perhaps you know someone who used marijuana and didn’t progress to other drugs. I am sure that happens. But if you are a young person choosing your path in life, you will never know if you choose to start smoking dope, if this will be your future — multiple drugs being abused, then addiction, then rehab one or more times until you finally can get sober. That is, if you’re lucky.

 

 

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Marijuana in Your Community – A Broader Perspective

marijuana harms Marijuana in Your Community – A Broader PerspectiveAs of this writing, marijuana is legal for medical use in twenty states and the District of Columbia. You have probably heard that it has been legalized for recreational use in two states – Colorado and Washington.

The same arguments are used in each state to promote the “benefits” of marijuana. The drug is said to provide relief for a variety of health conditions – multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, or to keep up one’s appetite while receiving chemotherapy for cancer or for a person who has AIDS. And with empathy in their hearts, voters in these states have approved the use of marijuana for medical use.

While the benefits of marijuana for medical use may get very full coverage in the media, the disadvantages of having marijuana dispensaries in one’s home town may not get as much play. It is only fair that people should be able to hear both sides of this issue. In a few different blog posts, I will give you a look at some of the other information people should have before they approve these laws. Of even if they do approve them, what might be expected.

Marijuana Supplies Become Far More Abundant in Your Town

Your home town is where you choose to raise your kids, to do business, to keep your family safe. When there are marijuana dispensaries in your town, there will automatically be more of this drug in your community. It may or may not be going to sick people. About medical marijuana distribution in Arizona, Ed Gogek, a physician and addiction specialist, stated, “The marijuana lobby wanted us to believe the law was about compassion for sick people, but the data shows that the pot goes almost entirely to recreational use.”

It should be intuitive for voters that having businesses distributing marijuana in their towns would lead to more supplies for young people. Advocates of medical marijuana probably assure people that supplies will only go to those with medical marijuana cards. A survey done in Arizona in 2012 showed that one in eight high school students who admitted to smoking marijuana said they got their drugs from medical marijuana recipients. And those were the ones who admitted the identity of their suppliers. Arizona County Attorney Rick Unklesbay said, “I don’t think people should be surprised by the fact that easier access to marijuana by medical card holders will lead to easier abuse by minors.”

Is Marijuana Medicine?

Did you know that there are pills that provide the active ingredient of marijuana? Marinol – generic name dronabinol. The active ingredient of marijuana is THC, tetrahydrocannabinol. It has long been used to help people receiving chemotherapy to regain their appetites.

Therefore, marijuana does not have to be smoked in order to provide benefits. In fact, some of the national institutes that research and support new treatments for the conditions medical marijuana is used to treat have rejected the use of the smoked drug as treatment. These institutes include:

• American Academy of Pediatrics
• National Institutes of Health
• National Multiple Sclerosis Society
• American Glaucoma Society
• American Academy of Ophthalmology
• American Cancer Society
• National Cancer Institute
• American Medical Association

Perhaps you have been told that permitting smoked marijuana to be distributed through minimally regulated and supervised dispensaries in your town is the only compassionate decision that can be made. In that case, you have been told only half the story. I hope the facts above help give a fuller perspective.

 

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http://www.drugfreemc.org/Portals/0/Flyers%20and%20Fact%20Sheets/What%20Happens%20When%20a%20State%20Legalizes%20Medical%20Marijuana%20Sept%202013.pdf

http://www.drugfreemc.org/Portals/0/Flyers%20and%20Fact%20Sheets/Updated%20Marijuana%20Fact%20Sheet.pdf

http://www.rxlist.com/marinol-drug/consumer-side-effects-precautions.htm

http://www.rxlist.com/marinol-drug.htm

 

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