Dozens of people recover their own value, their abilities, their families—thanks to Narconon Suncoast in Clearwater.
What’s the value of a lifeboat on the open ocean, a tossed lifebuoy or a strong hand pulling you upward when you’re going under? The value of real help, when there seems to be no help left, may be impossible to reckon.
To one drowning in addiction, a relentless ocean or a terrifying riptide couldn’t be any worse. As one young woman put it, “Every moment, from the time I woke up to the time I went to bed, revolved around the drug. My body depended on that next fix. I woke up every morning and was immediately sick. I couldn’t go a full 12 hours without heroin, and my body was slowly shutting down. My family and my daughter came second to my habit. I couldn’t carry the responsibility of being a mom without being high. My parents couldn’t trust me and I had no savings or backup plan. All I had was my drugs.”
Narconon Suncoast provides an ideal, distraction-free setting for overcoming addiction.
35,000 square feet
The center’s four buildings encompass facilities for treatment, accommodations and administration.
The number of Narconon Suncoast students who completed the program successfully.
More than 8,500 people died as a result of drug abuse in Florida in 2014 (the most recent complete year of statistics available). In Pinellas County alone, someone succumbs to a narcotics-related issue every 32 hours. In 2014, the state had earned a reputation as the “Pill Mill” capital of America and despite a crackdown on these practices, deaths from prescription drug abuse are still a concern. Meanwhile, heroin has filled the void, with heroin-related deaths in the state increasing 124 percent. The number of babies born addicted to drugs in Florida has increased tenfold in the past 20 years, and in one southwest Florida county, the number of newborns addicted to painkillers in 2014 soared 24 percent over the previous year.
Behind these statistics are real people whose lives and families are shattered by drug addiction. One man said, “I failed miserably to get sober many, many times. My family and I had given up all hope that I would ever ‘get it.’” Another admitted, “The drugs took over and began to control every aspect of my life. I started losing jobs, friends, family and relationships. I was running from the police and enemies every day, all day. My parents lived in fear that I would end up dead or in prison and I was at the point in my life where I had no hope.”
Narconon Suncoast was dedicated on November 7, 2015, in Clearwater, Florida, to answer the need for real solutions to the addiction calamity. It is one in a network of drug rehabilitation centers that operate in 23 countries on six continents, employing a program based on the groundbreaking drug rehab technology of L. Ron Hubbard.
For 50 years, the worldwide network of Narconon centers has dedicated itself to fighting the global scourge of drugs by providing an effective path for drug abuse rehabilitation and to assist in removing the social menace of narcotic abuse. The centers all share one purpose: to help people end the nightmare of addiction and wake up to the most beautiful and precious thing—their own lives.
This is no easy task. Many addicts go through multiple rehab programs only to return to drugs. But Narconon is different—a unique, drug-free program with procedures to help addicts overcome drug and alcohol dependencies, escape the rehab trap, and plant them firmly on the path to long-term success. The program is designed to help an individual overcome both the physical and mental aspects of addiction, while addressing the reasons he or she originally began abusing drugs and/or alcohol in the first place.
Narconon Suncoast, located a few minutes away from downtown Clearwater, is comprised of four attractive buildings totaling more than 35,000 square feet on 7.5 acres of serene wooded property—a quiet and pleasant setting likely to soften the inevitable challenges of conquering dependency.
When Narconon Suncoast opened, its reputation had already preceded it. Public Defender Dillinger, who works to halt the revolving door of drug addiction and criminality, said: “I have seen those who have gone through the Narconon program and have now turned their lives around and gained back their own selves.” State Representative Kathleen Peters said, “I have seen programs that are not conducive to real results. So when I saw Narconon, it was refreshing. Here was a place that was addressing the individual and passionately driven about results.”
Narconon addresses those in the program as “students” rather than “addicts” or “victims,” and its success is based on giving its students the tools to kick drugs for good. One graduate gave her own description of the program:
“This is my third treatment center. When I lost my house, my relationships and finally my dignity, I decided it was time to take a stand and get help. Three days later I arrived at Narconon Suncoast and it was the day that marked a new chapter in my life. After I was here for a few days trying to kick the drugs, I moved into the sauna detox. Sauna for me and my body was amazing. I started to get my strength back and my body started to feel like it had before the drugs. I was sleeping normally again, my eating habits improved and I was just all around healthier after detoxifying my body.
“After completing sauna, I moved onto the Objectives Course. Objectives opened my eyes to a lot of different aspects of my addiction. I realized that I actually had control over my mind and body and what I did with it was my choice. In Objectives, I made a conscious decision and promise to myself that I was never going to destroy my body with drugs again. Objectives gave me my power back.
“Once I completed that step of the program, I moved on to the Life Skills Courses, where I learned about responsibility and survival as a human being, and how my past behavior has affected all aspects of my life. One of the biggest things I learned in the Life Skills Courses was the “why,” the reason behind my drug use and my behaviors to begin with. That was a really big deal for me to be able to pinpoint where it all started and take steps to correct any problems in my future.”
At the close of its first year, Narconon Suncoast had completed more than 60 students on the full program. The center had provided family counseling to more than 160 parents and relatives and delivered drug prevention seminars in the community.
For those who are drowning in addiction, a solution that really frees them becomes a lifeboat, a tossed buoy, a lifeguard with a strong grip. Narconon Suncoast has stated its intention—to be the lifeguard on duty here in Florida—and has already pulled more than its share of near-drownings out.