It’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.
The 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.”
The 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.