Not too much over a year ago, Clark Carr, president Narconon International, was invited by Laura Capaceta, a United States citizen born in Mazatlan, to offer the first Narconon First Step Workshop to drug rehabilitation centers in Mexico. They started with two Catholic 12 Step centers directed by Laura’s nephew, Victor Capaceta. Victor, himself a former drug addict, after doing 12 Step (Alcoholics Anonymous) work, had also gone to Narconon Navojoa in Sonora and graduated the full program.
The simple, practical First Step program was wildly popular with his staff and interns (students) and workshops were delivered to other 12 Step programs (known as “Anexos” in Mexico). And the word spread. That was then.
Now, in just the last few months, Clark, Laura, and Victor have opened up Tijuana and Ensenada in the state of Baja California to the First Step. Almost 20 Baja drug rehab centers are now using vitamins and minerals and other hands-on assists to greatly ease symptoms of withdrawal along with other communication exercises that help students keep their attention in present time and better their communication skills. (picture: At the close of a Narconon First Step Workshop to Tijuana drug rehab directors.)
There is not conflict between the Narconon First Step methodology and AA, quite the contrary. One Baja staff member wrote, for example, “All the tools that were handed to us were very interesting, especially the confronting and communication drills. I sincerely think that combining all this information with the 12 Step AA Program is only going to make rehabbing a lot more effective.” (picture: Doing communication drills at the Puerto Vallarta First Step Workshop – looks like a lot of fun.)
Clark Carr has gone on in the last couple months to deliver the two-day Narconon First Step Workshops in other cities, including Guamuchil in Sinaloa, where the First Step is now in use from Los Mochis in the north down to Escuinapa south of Mazatlan. Also 6 drug rehab ‘clinics’ in Cuernavaca, Morelos, down near Mexico City. And most recently in Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco. “I learned to confront life and people and not run away from it,” said one Puerto Vallarta attendee. “I learned not to be afraid of problems. The Narconon exercises seemed very entertaining and useful to me…for our clinic, Despierta la Vida, and to improve the life of the patients and their illness.”
As well, because of the rampant violence and criminality that still accompany the on-going battles between warring drug cartels throughout Mexico, Narconon International has reached beyond drug rehabs out to the community and businesses, giving them tools to address ethics and morality and to raise hope that, like Colombia has accomplished, Mexico can and will rise up from this chaos to become again the wonderful land of rest and recuperation it once was for so much of the world.
The little book called The Way to Happiness, with its 21 chapters on precepts or common sense choices that lead to a more ethical, prosperous, and happier life, is being much used by Narconon in its community service campaigns. Over 150,000 copies have been distributed around First Step rehab centers, by their own students and graduates, not just in quiet neighborhoods to churches, schools, and businesses, but in recently violent zones where killings, extortion, and kidnappings have occurred. “I believe that we have here the key to better ourselves in every aspect,” said one workshop attendee. “This is also really needed to help other people like us. We need to orient our children, teenagers, and young people with drug problems — and to teach them The Way to Happiness, the key to success.” (pictures: Above, students at a neighborhood Way to Happiness school at one of their weekly voluntary meetings and below, being interviewed at a Mazatlan morning TV show.)
Finally, in Mazatlan and other cities, business leaders are beginning to come together with Narconon International and Mexican drug rehab directors and many others from their communities to consider using and distributing large quantities of The Way to Happiness to help reinforce ethical values. This even includes a state-wide TV station in Mazatlan, Sinaloa playing a Way to Happiness precept daily for a month along with a live interview.
* The Narconon First Step program is a drug withdrawal program which doesn’t use other substitute drugs get off of them.
Learning in Tijuana how Calcium, Magnesium, B vitamins and other nutrients help relieve drug withdrawal.
Puerto Vallarta First Step workshop – Communication drills
Students and staff at Guamuchil and Puerto Vallarta 12 Step rehab centers learn how to relieve pain with a simple Narconon First Step hands-on assist.
After the Cuernavaca First Step Workshop.