Narconon Program For Drug Addicts Will Start Soon
The Day - New London, Conn., Wednesday, June 21, 1972
NEW LONDON - A drug rehabilitation program which professes 80 per cent cure in ten weeks of treatment will begin within the next few weeks at the YWCA.
The Y's (YWCA) board of directors voted Monday to allow the program, Narconon, free use of its facilities for a 10-week trial period.
Narconon, geared toward detoxified addicts, will be directed by Patrick Healey, an investigator at LEGACY. The ten-week program, which averages about 50 classroom hours, will cost participants $30. Healey said, however, he would not turn away addicts who don't have the "bread."
'How to Get Your Head Together'
"I'd like to bring in people who are working with kids in the various agencies and have them actually take the program with the addicts," he said.
"In the meantime I plan to scream and holler to every community funding agency in the area," said Healey, who needs $1500 to pay an instructor from New York City to teach the program.
Healey also has been negotiating since January with officials from the Connecticut Correctional Institution in Niantic to set up a Narconon program there. Daytop, Inc. is the present drug program at the prison.
Healey said the program is based on eight communications drills which "make you face yourself."
"When you complete a drill, you coach another student," he said. "All of a sudden you realize you can pull someone else out of a problem. You get self-confident. You get tired of feeling sorry for yourself."
In all, Healey expects a minimum of 30 addicts to take the program, which will run six days a week in afternoon and evening sessions. He said he will do follow-ups on all the graduates.
One addict, a dropout from a methadone program in New York City, will take the Narconon program at the Y. According to Healey, she heard about it "by word of mouth."
Works for Others
Although Narconon is primarily aimed at drug addicts, Healey said it works equally well with alcoholics or "anyone who feels we can give him help.
"Even if someone is just plain lost and doesn't know what is wrong with him, we'll accept him," said Healey. "We don't discuss drugs, just how to get your head together."
Healey himself was a drug addict for 12 years. He served five years (from 1958 to 1962) at the Connecticut State Prison in Wethersfield for possession of marijuana. He has been off drugs completely for the past 14 years.
"I've been unhappy with the way the drug thing has been handled," said Healey. "All the money being spent and only six or eight people a year coming out. I was on the alert for something like Narconon."
Healey first heard about Narconon when he read a two-part series in The Day last September. Narconon, founded in 1966 by a convict at Arizona State Penitentiary. Narconon is incorporated in California and is in the process of being incorporated in New London.
A proposal for Narconon was, discussed June 7 at an open meeting at the YWCA. After reading the account of the meeting in The Day, an unidentified man offered Healey free use of his eight-room house for the, program. Healey has been unable to contact him for more information.
Healey advises hard-core addicts to first get detoxified before considering Narconon. "We I don't have the staff or facilities to handle hard-core addicts," he said. "Also I don't have the training to handle medication."
If the pilot program proves successful, Healey's, next step, will be to work with young, people who have "experimented with drugs but who are not hooked yet."
When asked if he would resign from his LEGACY position Healey responded. "At the end of- the ten weeks, if the community is interested, I will, negotiate for a contract with Narconon and will be the permanent director."
After the trial period, the YWCA will charge an undetermined rent for the program.