Tag Archives: recovery

Alternative Recovery Resources

It’s true that drug or alcohol addiction is a condition not only the mind but also of the body. Bodies become dependent on drugs. As their tolerance grows, it takes more of a drug or alcohol to create the same effect that used to be created by a smaller amount. When the drug is withdrawn, the body goes through aches, pains and sickness as it tries to adjust back to its normal physical processes without drugs.

An individual becomes accustomed to dealing with life’s problems by drinking or using drugs. When high or drunk, it is harder to feel pain, fear, stress or anxiety. After a person becomes addicted, they may or may not feel particularly high after using drugs and may simply continue to use them so they can feel “normal” and continue to function.

To recover on both the physical and the mental sides of addiction, many people choose alternative recovery resources like non-conventional drug rehabilitation services. This may be after conventional services failed to provide help or it could be that the services they normally found did not match their own philosophies of recovery. Some people do not agree with professing that they will always be an addict or that they are helpless against addiction. These concepts may serve some people but others may need something different.

Narconon Recovery Programs

The Narconon drug recovery programs located on six continents around the world provide a thorough, alternative and drug-free approach to drug recovery. Addicts have been recovering using this system for more than forty-five years. Since seven out of ten recovering addicts stay sober after graduation from a Narconon program, the approach has been proven to be far more effective than most other rehabs. When asked, most conventional rehab programs will state a recovery rate of 16% to 20%.

Narconon uses Holistic Approach

The Narconon program is holistic, meaning that it addresses the whole person, the weaknesses that may have initially led to substance abuse, the damage created to both body and mind by the drugs, and the life skills needed to stay sober when back in life again. This repair does not happen overnight. It takes three to six months to effect this recovery. Some people take longer but when this happens, the cost does not increase. Each person moves through these recovery steps at his or her own rate. This way, they don’t go home before they have had a chance to master each skill that will be required to stay sober.

Get all the details on the Narconon drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs. Find out how this program can fit your needs if you are looking for an alternative resource. Talk to the Intake Counselors at the international headquarters of Narconon and tell them about your own situation needing help. Whether you are seeking help for a loved one or for yourself, this confidential, compassionate interview can answer your questions about alternative recovery for your situation. Call today and discover how it can relieve your stress and increase your hope to find an effective solution to addiction.

There are also Narconon school drug education presentation programs available in many of the Narconon centers worldwide. If you would like to schedule a drug education presentation, call today.

Seeking Recovery for Crack Cocaine Addiction

When crack cocaine roared through the American landscape in the late 1980s, it tore many people away from their productive, enjoyable lives and their families. Crack is a toxic drug, very harsh and quickly addictive. Those who became addicted to crack in many cases quickly lost everything and resorted to criminal actions to support their habits. Men may resort to criminal acts like theft and muggings and some women may use prostitution as solutions.

When a person is at their worst in the midst of crack cocaine addiction, it may seem like an impossible dream that they would ever be able to recover from the addiction and be restored to that enjoyable life again. The Narconon drug and alcohol recovery centers around the world are places where this dream can and does come true.

The Narconon program starts out by helping a person withdraw from crack cocaine addiction without the depression, intense cravings and physical crash that can result without this support. As soon as the crack cocaine addict enters a Narconon center, he or she is given generous doses of the nutritional supplements that provide the body with real energy and stability. Years of crack cocaine generally rob a body of the resources it needs to generate strength, requiring these nutritional supplements to prevent a crash.

This phase is followed by a sauna detoxification program that again uses nutrition plus moderate exercise to flush out the toxins left behind after crack cocaine addiction. This detox has proven over decades of experience to relieve cravings, opening the door for each individual to be able to focus on the recovery of drug-free life skills. While cravings and depression haunt one severely, it is difficult if not impossible.

The Narconon life skills component addresses the loss of ability to communicate and to make drug-free decisions. In addition, each person must find relief from the guilt of acts committed while addicted and know how to maintain personal integrity in the future. The Narconon program provides techniques to teach each recovering person these skills. The result is a person who knows how to operate successfully, who understands and can steer clear of future pitfalls to long-term sobriety.

In rehab centers around the world, the Narconon program has enabled many thousands of cocaine or crack cocaine addiction sufferers to find lasting relief and sobriety. If you are the family member of a person seeking recovery from crack cocaine addiction, contact the Intake Counselors at the international offices of Narconon. They will help you find the closest Narconon center to your location and help you work out how to get your loved one started on this program.

You don’t have to suffer the pain of their addiction any longer. It can be over, without relapse after relapse. Contact Narconon now to learn all the details of the holistic, drug-free recovery program. Call now and get the relief of knowing that the future can be much better than the past for both you and your addicted loved one.

Mick’s Recovery from Drug Addiction

A few beers stolen out of the fridge at home when he was a kid didn’t create any particular attraction for Mick. He avoided any drug or alcohol use during high school – he didn’t even smoke cigarettes.

In the end, he and a friend decided that should try out these substances that everyone else was using, so they used some LSD as their first drug experience. He enjoyed the experience so much that he thought he should try some of the other drugs he had been missing. That was a fateful decision.

In his second year of college in West Virginia, he began to really make up for lost time. He started drinking at parties and smoking marijuana pretty consistently. To make money and keep his drug supply adequate, be began to sell marijuana. A couple of years later, he discovered cocaine and heroin. It was heroin that created the most destructive effect on his life.

Heroin Begins the Downward Slide

One day, he started snorting heroin and didn’t stop for a week. When he tried to stop at the end of the week, it didn’t quite go like he expected. Heroin had him addicted.

He had been trading his marijuana for heroin and now, to keep the heroin supply adequate, he and a friend were driving into New York to get supplies of marijuana and heroin and then heading home to West Virginia.

Mick found that his whole life began to gradually enter a dwindling spiral, as his heroin addiction created more and more damage. For a while, he could sell drugs and have enough money for his own habit and his living expenses. Later on, however, he was scrounging just to maintain his habit. He had to start living with friends because he had no place to live and no money for one.

His brother let Mick stay with him as long as he entered a methadone program. That worked okay until Mick’s drug tests at the clinic showed that he was still using heroin. And then his drug dealing caught the attention of his brother’s roommates. Mick was out on his own again, looking for places to stay with people who might owe him favors from his drug-dealing activities.

Eventually, he got back on methadone even though he really wasn’t that interested in being drug-free. He’d drink or use cocaine while he was using methadone.

To get a job in California, he transferred his methadone treatment out west. He thought this might be an opportunity to get things together but after a year, his drug use was just the same as it had been when he arrived.

A Friend’s Overdose Death Starts to Change His Perspective

Back home, his former girlfriend overdosed on drugs and died. Her death put things in a new perspective. Mick was starting to see that drugs were ruining the lives of people he knew as well as his own. He got himself through a detoxification and a drug rehab program and got fully clean for the first time in a long time.

After the program was over, he continued going to meetings but he felt like something was missing from his life. He managed to stay clean for a couple of years and began building a career based on the artistic activities he had left behind years before. But the fact that his life felt flat and boring still bothered him.

The Same Trap Awaits Followed by More Alcohol and Another Rehab

A little marijuana use led to some drinking that eased his way into social situations. Life was a little more fun and interesting again. Not surprisingly, his reliance on marijuana and alcohol led into a similar trap as the one heroin had created before. He began to behave in ways that bothered him, that he regretted. He felt empty inside, despite some fair success in his artwork and setting up art shows. “I thought I should feel good, but I didn’t,” he said.

He tried to quit drinking after that but just managed to go from constant drinking to binge drinking when he had the money. He began consuming more at one time now, drinking vodka straight until he could not drink any more. At his mom’s urging, he went to a short-term rehab to try to get sober. When he finished, he got his own place to live and started drinking soon after. Still determined to get sober, he went into a very long-term program that would support him and help him get some practice being sober. He was in this program for almost a year.

Now, a Completely Different Kind of Rehab Provides New Hope

But once he left this program, the same trap awaited him. He was sober but bored and unhappy. Alcohol was once again the solution. There was another rehab and another relapse followed by a medical detox to get off the alcohol. But this time, he looked for something completely different to help him get sober. “I had been through so many rehabs that had not worked that I was hoping there was a different kind of program out there for me,” Mick commented. He began to look for a rehab that was not based on meetings as he had been to hundreds of meetings over the years. He found Narconon.

“I liked the idea of the sauna detoxification program that is part of this rehab,” Mick said. “And I liked the fact that there weren’t meetings where you talk about what you’ve done. In earlier programs, I found it was possible to be so glib that I got nothing out of the meetings.”

As he progressed through the Narconon program, Mick found that it was possible to finally let go of bad experiences from the past and start looking forward to the future. He learned to look at his life from a new perspective. As he worked through examining and repairing parts of his life that had been damaged by his years of addiction, he began to feel lighter and freer.

“I found that I learned how to live a drug-free life myself, not from someone else telling me how to do it,” Mick observed. “And I think the Narconon New Life Detoxification Program in the sauna would help anyone who had been using drugs.”

If you or a loved ones needs help with drug addiction, contact a Narconon rehab center right away. Our counselors are here for you.

How to Achieve Lasting Recovery from Drug Addiction

Achieving Lasting Sobiety

When the true factors that underlay addiction are addressed and handled, then addiction recovery can be long lasting. When these factors are covered up with medication or psychiatric diagnoses, the recovery may not be so durable.

Only uncovering and addressing the reasons a person began to abuse drugs and repairing the damage done by addiction can enable a person to stand strong and stable on his own two feet and create a long-lasting, drug-free life for himself.

Drug Cravings, Depression and Guilt

What are these factors? Very simply, they are cravings, depression and guilt. It has been found that these three factors are present in every person who suffers from addiction and that they form bonds that tie a person to the addiction. When the bonds are broken, the person is free from the compulsion to abuse drugs, alcohol and other substances. The result is sobriety.

How to Overcome Cravings, Depression and Guilt

Naturally, the complete picture on how to overcome cravings, depression and guilt is extensive, but here is a brief summary of the approach, as experienced by every recovering addict at a Narconon drug rehab center anywhere in the world.

Relieve Withdrawal Symptoms

As soon as an addict seeking recovery arrives in the Withdrawal Unit of a Narconon center, he or she is given generous nutritional support. Vitamin C, B Complex, calcium, magnesium and other supplements have been proven to provide relief from some of the worst of withdrawal sickness plus they support a person’s mood.

Depression is a common reaction to withdrawal from many drugs, including cocaine, heroin and alcohol. Addicts are typically in terrible physical condition due to neglect of their own personal needs, but continued drug use keeps them from sensing the depletion and exhaustion of physical resources. When the drugs wear off, the full impact of the neglect is going to be felt. The nutritional support along with continuous assistance by the staff in the form of gentle relaxation and re-orientation exercises eases the withdrawing person through this time.

A person finishing withdrawal at a Narconon center, rather than suffering from depression, frequently looks forward to the remainder of the program with a positive and optimistic viewpoint.

Narconon New-Life Detoxification Program

Cravings are primarily addressed through a remarkable and innovative phase of the program called the Narconon New Life Detoxification Program. This phase consists of moderate exercise, generous nutritional supplementation and time spent in a low-heat sauna. This combination has been proven to enable the body to flush out stored drug and alcohol toxins. Because intoxicating ingredients are fat soluble rather than water soluble, remnants of these drugs tend to be stored in the fat tissues of the body. These stored residues have been found to be involved in the triggering of cravings, even years after drug use has ceased. When they are flushed out, those completing this step normally state that their cravings are considerably reduced — some even state that they are gone.

Guilt is like a steel bond surrounding a person, never letting him or her forget the harm done to self or others during the addiction. Perhaps it was mostly neglect of spouse, children and other family that haunts a person. Maybe it is crimes like theft, sales of drugs to other people who were harmed by them, or just standing by and watching someone die of an overdose that won’t let a person go. Whatever the situation, every addict feels guilt — if only for the damage she has done to herself — when she enters the rehabilitation process.

The life skills portion of the Narconon drug rehabilitation program has several features that help eliminate guilt as a factor of continuing addiction. This improvement is achieved by learning the tools to enable a person to turn a difficult situation into a positive one, and gaining an understanding of which people are likely to be associates that lead to a drug-free life and which ones will lead to problems. Each recovering person also learns the mechanics by which past actions can prevent present and future happiness and learns also the procedure that can lead to relief. Guided by the experienced Narconon staff, each person uses this procedure to better their own situation. The result is often referred to as “the feeling of a great weight lifting off my shoulders” and similar descriptions. This relief further lifts each person’s mood and eliminates a major cause of depression.

The result of effectively addressing cravings, depression and guilt is a much greater ability to be free from drug and alcohol abuse in the future. They are simply not needed to cover up the pain of physical or mental damage from addiction any longer.

Drug Addiction Help

While they may or may not talk about it, anyone you are trying to help recover from addiction is suffering these damaging effects. The Narconon program can provide the life-saving relief that also means lasting sobriety. Get all the details on how these changes are achieved by talking with a Narconon intake counselors today. Discover how this conversation can change the future for yourself or someone you love who struggles with addiction.

Joe’s Recovery from Heroin Addiction

12 Years Old Using Heroin

The first drug J.P. from Baton Rouge ever used was heroin. He was twelve years old. Running with an older crowd, he did what they did and what they were doing was heroin.

From that point, there were few drugs he didn’t use. Marijuana, more heroin, alcohol, pain pills, methamphetamine. It seemed like he didn’t become as addicted as easily as others around him. In fact, it was years before he became addicted.

Once he began messing with pain pills, his use got more frequent and he finally entered the zone of addiction. He couldn’t stop stop taking them without going into withdrawal, so to function in daily life, he had to keep using them.

Started Using Methadone

Then a friend told him about methadone. The friend said, “It’s still a bad addiction but it will save you some money. You won’t be chasing those drugs every day.”

It was the easiest drug ever, he could go get his methadone and get high without obtaining illicit drugs. But then eventually he wasn’t getting high any more. He was just maintaining.

J.P. said that during his years on methadone, his health diminished, his confidence that he could be who he wanted to be diminished, and his self-respect diminished. But he was not aware of the loss because he was so numb to the effects of methadone.

He could not go on vacation. Anywhere he couldn’t go in a day and get back home, he couldn’t go because he was tied to the methadone clinic.

J.P. never went to a rehab all his years on opiates and other drugs so he never went through withdrawal until he went to the Narconon drug and alcohol rehabilitation program. There, he found that nutritional supplements and gentle physical assists of various kinds were used to help ease a person into sobriety.

His time in withdrawal was longer that most people’s due to the nature of methadone. It took him nearly a month to get completely free from the effects of methadone. He found that the Narconon New Life Detoxification Program that uses time in a low heat sauna, exercise and more nutritional supplements enabled him to flush out the stored drug toxins that helped keep him trapped in addiction.

Think Before using Methadone

J.P. paused for a moment than and his face got serious. He said, “Taking methadone was the worst decision of my life. If you’re going to tell my story, you tell the readers this: you better think a thousand times before going to a methadone clinic. What I see is that people who use methadone as a solution don’t get off drugs.”

He admitted that if he had found this solution sooner, he might have saved his marriage and he certainly would have saved his family a lot of stress.

Narconon Heroin Recovery Rehab

J.P. found Narconon via an internet site and learned how the Narconon program is not a quick fix but is rather a thorough handling. A day later, he arrived at a Narconon facility.

To learn how the Narconon drug rehab program helped free J.P. from his addiction to heroin and other opiates, read further. There is another option for a person who thinks that methadone is their only choice for heroin recovery.


Learning How to Learn

So let’s pull all this together now, and explain why one of the early steps of the Narconon program for alcohol recovery is a study course.

We all know that there is a crisis of education in this country. We have long been told that a large portion of our population of young people suffer from “learning disorders.” So we are told. And we have doctors who claim to know what to do about that. These “solutions” usually involve putting that young person on powerful mind-altering drugs, drugs like Ritalin ( methylphenidate.) Let us take a look at what the US Drug Enforcement Agency has had to say about Ritalin:

“Since 1990, prescriptions for methylphenidate have increased by 500 percent, while prescriptions for amphetamine for the same purpose have increased 400 percent. Now we see a situation in which from seven to ten percent of the nation’s boys are on these drugs at some point as well as a rising percentage of girls. When so many children are involved in the daily use of such a powerful psychoactive drugs, it is important for all of us to understand what is going on and why. The DEA has a responsibility to the nation to control such abusable legal drugs and to insure that their use is confined to legitimate medical need. Certain things have become clear from our deliberations of the last several days, and the public, parents and decision-makers need to hear them.”

  • (http://www.add-adhd.org/ritalin.html)

This item was published in 1996! It is now fifteen years later. How much worse is the problem today than it was then? One need only watch television, listen to the radio, surf the web or read a newspaper to know that, as a society, we have become increasingly dependent on prescribed drugs as a solution to our educational crisis.

How is this related to alcoholism? Simply stated, these kids are turned into young addicts by licensed physicians. Yes Ritalin and other so-called “attention deficient hyperactivity disorder” drugs are addicting. They are stimulants related to amphetamines. Once the prescriptions stop or once they develop a tolerance and need more of the drug, what do they do? They seek alternative ways of handling their addictive need. One of the easiest is alcohol. And there we have a new crop of alcoholics or other drug addicts.

OK. So what does this have to do with an ability to study? The “disorders” for which these drugs are prescribed (ADD, ADHD and a host of others) ARE NOT DISORDERS AT ALL!!! If you want a look at how ridiculous this is, just look at the descriptions of ADD and ADHD in the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual – the “Bible” of psychiatric disorders.) You will recognize these “symptoms” in virtually every child you know and, looking back at your own childhood, in yourself!

These are not actually disorders of any kind. They are either normal behavior or they are the result of other, simpler causes. One is nutrition, things like food allergies that manifest themselves as “ADD” and “ADHD”, too much sugar in the diet (we are STILL inundated with advertising for great breakfast foods like frosted mini-wheats, pop tarts and toaster strudel.) But the problem does not end there. The other (and the actual topic of this part), is problems that our kids have as students, problems which result from the inability to study and to understand what is being studied.

Is there actually a solution for this? Yes, There absolutely IS. The Learning How to Learn course address the skill of “how to study.” How to? It has never been taught before.

When we rehabilitate the alcoholic’s ability to study we have handled a significant cause of his alcoholism. Over the course of years from childhood though adolescence to adulthood, he has had other problems stick to him, and we have to be able to peel off, and solve, these problems before we have the product of a person whose alcohol recovery is complete. So we start, after we have gotten him through withdrawal and detoxification, with the most basic problem of all – an inability to study and learn. This is often the first time many recovering addicts feel comfortable with the subject of learning, books, study. But what else is rehabilitation but a learning process?

Once that is done, we are able to begin handling the next two parts of the Narconon program – the student’s ability to perceive the world around him as it really is, and his ability and willingness to communicate with the other inhabitants of this small planet.

Before we go on with a look at communication and perception, there is one other thing to look at. So we’ll now take a short intermission, and then on to:

Next: Alcohol Recovery Part V – Communication and Perception

Previous: Alcohol Recovery Part IVA – Learning How to Learn


Alcohol Recovery LearningSo far, everything we have talked about has been directly related to alcoholism or, more accurately, the drinking of alcohol. As you might guess from the title of this part, we are now going to talk about a part of the Narconon program that, on the surface, would seem to have little to do with alcohol recovery. But here is where you are going to see more differences between the Narconon program every other program. We do want to make it clear that no other program offers the New Life Detoxification Program. But many programs talk about detoxification , so the differences between those programs and the Narconon program might not be obvious.

What has learning got to do with alcohol recovery? Well, actually, everything. One unique aspect about the Narconon program is that it recognizes that alcohol is NOT the problem, but a solution to problems. This might seem odd, but read on.

The reason that one becomes addicted to alcohol is that he has problems. He has a problem that is so huge that he has been unable to find a solution for it. Immersed in this problem (and it might well be more than one) he now takes to drink. He might take that drink in a social setting. He might take it to try to handle a physical pain. He might take it because he is upset about something, and he knows that he is less upset after a drink. He might take it for any number of reasons. But what happens when he takes that drink is that he suddenly feels that the problem he has been trying to solve is “not as bad as he thought it was.” He feels maybe just a little bit “better.” So he takes another drink. He feels a bit MORE better. So he takes another drink, and the problem all but vanishes. Then the alcohol begins to wear off and the problem returns – now with the additional problem of alcohol withdrawal.

We are interesting creatures, we humans. As capable as we are of analytical thought, as capable as we are of figuring things out, we STILL act in a stimulus-response manner when we have a seemingly unsolvable problem. So, when we find that a couple of drinks deadens the pain (either physical or mental) we forget that drinking has its own downside. All we see is that it makes us feel better. So we drink again to make the problem go away. Of course, after a period of time and a large amount of alcohol, we develop a physical dependence on the alcohol.

This is the true mechanism of alcoholism. So, in order to handle the alcoholism, we must handle the underlying problems. This makes sense, does it not? Once this is understood, we are well on the road to helping the student on his journey to full alcohol recovery.

Now that we know that the root of the alcoholism is one or more other problems, it becomes clear that, in order to cure the alcoholic of his addiction, we must help him find and solve the problem or problems that led him to alcohol. There are always solutions to problem(s), solutions we will talk about in parts 5, 6, 7 and 8 of this series) and the student must be able to fully understand the problem, what makes it up and what might solve it. To do this one has to be able to understand the words and concepts that he encounters throughout his journey of discovery and solution.

This part of the Narconon program, Learning How To Learn, is actually a rehabilitation program all its own. It rehabilitates the alcoholic’s ability to study, to learn and, most importantly, to APPLY what he has learned to his own life.

THIS IS THE KEY TO RECOVERY. If we can insure that the alcoholic understands what he is reading, we can fully rehabilitate him.

Previous: Alcohol Recovery Part III – The New Life Detoxification Program

Next: Alcohol Recovery Part Ivb – Learning How To Learn



Alcohol Detoxification

Having gotten the alcoholic through drug-free withdrawal we have him to the point at which he can think in a reasonably straight line. He is no longer ruled by the need to procure his next drink. He can communicate with others and, more importantly, is at point he is WILLING to communicate. He actually has accomplished something else, something most people would not recognize to be the case. In real terms, he is no longer a ”using” alcoholic, nor is he medicated to camouflage the desire.

But he has not had a drink in at least a week. Nor is he having to use medications to mask alcohol effects.

You often see an amazing transition. He will brighten up, cheer up and want to talk.

He is now a former alcoholic in real recovery, that is on the road to full recovery. We don’t call him or her an alcoholic, but simply a “student”.

And he is with this, ready for the next step.

First, let us classify terms. There is a common misconception that withdrawal is the same as detoxification. They are not the same thing. Withdrawal is simply the process of coming off drugs or alcohol and getting the body used to not ingesting the substance on a regular basis. Full alcohol recovery requires more than that. The next thing that is needed is detoxification, which is the process of cleaning the body, ridding it of the poisons, toxins, drug residuals and other garbage that it has been accumulating over the course of a lifetime. You would be shocked (and disgusted) if you could see the amount of garbage that the average individual has actually stored in the fatty tissues of his body. The fact is that, in the case of drugs and alcohol, those toxins can actually leach back into the body under stress, weight loss, during illness, or any other time fat is metabolized. When this occurs, the person can experience a wide range of sensations, from feeling like he is drunk to turning on a craving for alcohol. Until the late 1970s there was really no way of cleansing the body of these toxins. Fortunately, there is now.


One of the signal features which marks the Narconon alcohol recovery program as different from other programs is the Narconon New Life Detoxification Program (often referred to as the Sauna Program.) It is unique to the Narconon program and is an essential portion of that program.

This program combines sweating in dry-heat, well ventilated saunas with a supervised strict regimen of exercise, vitamin and mineral supplementation and the addition (or increase in amounts) of certain foods (like raw vegetables and vegetable oils). It is based on the fact that toxins and drug residuals are actually stored in the body’s fatty tissues. This program causes the body to replace the “polluted” fat with new, clean fatty tissue, and to sweat or otherwise release the toxins and chemical residuals from the body.

When the former alcoholic has completed this program he is free from the continuing, and unpredictable effects that the drug and alcohol residuals and other toxins have created. There is no more leaching of those poisons into the bloodstream. The sensations and cravings that were thus created no longer occur. He is as close to being a physically clean and pristine human being as he was as a young man. Having completed this program, most individuals experience a renewed sense of physical well being, announce cheerfully they can think more clearly, feel more energetic and, in short, are far more able to deal with the process of rehabilitation than ever.

Having completed this phase of the Narconon program, the student is now ready to go to the next phase of the Narconon program, The Learning Improvement Course.

Previous: Alcohol Recovery – Part II – Withdrawal

Next: Alcohol Recovery Part IV – The Learning How to Learn



Alcohol Recovery WithdrawalWithdrawing from any substance to which one has become addicted is not easy. In fact, it is one of the most difficult things a person can experience. No inquisitor of the middle ages could have devised a torture which is actually worse than withdrawal from drugs and alcohol. In addition to the pain, anguish and suffering which can be caused by drug withdrawal, withdrawal from certain substances can actually cause effects which are harmful or, at the extreme, potentially fatal. Any legitimate rehabilitation program will take this into account, and will include procedures to insure that the addict is not placed in a situation which could cause injury. Of course, not all addictive substances, upon withdrawal, create these potentially harmful effects.

Alcohol can.

To be sure, alcohol recovery is not always physically dangerous. Factors such as the length of time one has been drinking, the amount that one drinks on a regular basis and the physiology of the individual alcoholic all play a part in the course which alcohol recovery will take. Only a qualified physician can adjudicate whether the alcoholic has a significant risk of developing dangerous symptoms.

When an alcoholic decides to come to a Narconon center for rehabilitation, he or she is examined by a physician who, after examination and interview, makes a determination as to whether the alcoholic needs to undergo medically supervised withdrawal. Medicine Plus, a service of the National Institutes Of Health, states,

“People with moderate-to-severe symptoms of alcohol withdrawal may need inpatient treatment in a hospital or other facility that treats alcohol withdrawal. You will be watched closely for hallucinations and other signs of delirium tremens.”

(Note: Delirium tremens is a severe form of alcohol withdrawal that involves sudden and severe mental or nervous system changes. Same reference).

While medically assisted withdrawal is not administered at a Narconon center, we are aware that some of those entering our program run the risk of undergoing physically dangerous withdrawal. We firmly believe that, if medically assisted withdrawal is advised, it should be done with a minimum amount of medication. The alcoholic is coming to Narconon to get OFF drugs. It would make little sense to dose him up with large quantities of potentially addictive chemicals only to have to withdraw from THEM. With that philosophy in mind, Narconon centers have established close working relationships with physicians expert in chemical withdrawal and facilities which provide this essential service, physicians and facilities that rely on medications only where they are absolutely essential.


Once the alcoholic has safely completed the few days of a medically supervised withdrawal, he or she is ready to take up residence in a Narconon center and to begin the process of full drug-free withdrawal. For the alcoholic who did not need a medically supervised withdrawal, this is the first step – the step in which he or she will come off alcohol and will be prepared to proceed with the actual “meat and potatoes” of the Narconon program. For the alcoholic who did require medical withdrawal, this is the phase in which he or she will come off the medications which were used to safely take him or her off alcohol.
This phase makes use of vitamins and minerals, good nutrition, moderate exercise and actions designed to keep the recovering alcoholic mentally extroverted and emotionally calm, not dwelling on his problems, but concentrating on feeling better. We remove all distractions. We feed him. We give him vitamins minerals. We take him for walks. We give him physical therapy-types of help, called assists. We talk to him and, more importantly, we give him someone he can talk to. Twenty-four hours a day.
To attempt to take someone who has been addicted to alcohol and immediately start to work with him to handle his addiction while he feels ill and is in physical pain is foolish and usually unsuccessful. A person who is physically ill and in pain cannot possibly be expected to face the sorts of things one has to face in the process of rehabilitation. Give him some space. Give him good food. Let him rest. After a week or so, when he is free from the pains and sensations of withdrawal, you will have the real person sitting there, someone who can begin to put his life back on the rails. If you are a loved one or a friend, after this phase you will begin to see, once again, the person you loved before alcohol took over his life. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes of his own destruction, the alcoholic is coming back to life, ready to face the challenges – and the triumphs – which lie ahead.

Previous: Alcohol Recovery – A Perspective Part I – Introduction

Next: Alcohol Recovery Part III – The New Life Detoxification Program


If you watch or read the news today, if you look at what is capturing the headlines, it really comes down to only a few major topics. Obviously, the current state of the US economy and the gridlock in the government is one major attention getter. But another major topic weaving its way into our “news consciousness” is articles about celebrities who have addiction problems.

This week the headlines contain a particularly ironic twist – the untimely death of Amy Winehouse. Take a look at headline that just appeared on musicrooms. net (http://www.musicrooms.net/showbiz/38272-amy-winehouse-died-from-giving-up-alcohol.html).





It would appear that the death of this talented young woman was caused, not by the addiction to alcohol itself, but as a result of a lack of understanding of alcohol recovery. Now, it would seem that it is safe to assume that, if you are reading this piece, you have some interest in learning more about alcohol recovery. OK. If that is the case, read on. If it is not, I can refer you to an article about the current impasse in congress. I’ll pause for a moment while you decide….

Good. You’re still here. The economy will have to wait. So let’s take a look at alcohol recovery and how Narconon’s program treats the matter just a bit differently from other rehab programs.

Alcohol Recovery RehabAccording to the Centers For Disease Control, the percentage of adults (18 years old and older) who are current regular drinkers (at least 12 drinks in the past year) is 52%. The percentage of adults who are current infrequent drinkers (meaning 1 – 11 drinks in the past year) is 13% (Source: CDC – http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/alcohol.htm). The total percentage of American adults who use alcohol to a greater or lesser extent is 65%!! Is it any wonder why supermarkets devote a significant amount of floor space to alcoholic beverages and related items? And there, dear reader, is the first part of the problem. Alcohol, unlike other drugs, is socially acceptable and legally available. No doctor needed. No prescription needed. Just present an ID (real or fake) showing that the purchaser is of legal age, and whoopdeedoo!! Party time!!!

Most people know how to drink. The problem (the one that apparently killed Miss Winehouse) is that most people do not know how to stop drinking. And there, my dear friends, is the first part of the problem.

Alcohol recovery, true alcohol recovery, contains several phases. Each phase has its own set of steps. But (and here is the major point) no individual step, no matter how completely and properly done, cures the alcoholic of his addiction. It is the completion of each step, in proper sequence, which gives the alcoholic the greatest chance for complete, and lasting recovery.

The Narconon program is unique. It addresses, and handles, each step of alcohol recovery, and does not move the alcoholic to the next step until the current step is complete.

The next installment of this blog will address the first step in alcohol recovery, supervised withdrawal. Don’t go anywhere. You are about to learn what it is that makes the Narconon program unique – and effective.

Next: Alcohol Recovery Part II – Supervised Withdrawal