Narconon, East Boston, Sponsors Painless Drug Rehabilitation Program
Miracles seldom happen these days, but in the eyes of Mrs. Smith a miracle happened for her daughter last week. Mrs. Smith's daughter Susan Bittar of East Boston made a total withdrawal from drugs after eight years of addiction.
"It's great to be off drugs and this time know it's for good," stated exuberant Susan Bittar, "After all the hospitals and the psychiatrists, and 8 years of hell."
She wasn't a street addict or on heroin, nor was she out on the streets stealing to keep her habit going, at least it hadn't come that far yet for her. She suffered from a type of addiction, that it in many ways is far more terrifying to the user. It's known today as legalized drug addiction, and the drugs aren't pushed on the street, but across the doctor's or psychiatrist's prescription pad or from manufacturer's samples, and at the comer pharmacy.
Susan Bittar didn't think it could happen to her though. She was a nurse and had a master's degree in psychiatric nursing. When she worked in institutions, it was always them and not her, and she dealt out the drugs to patients, she was finally to fall victim too. According to Susan, "I must say unethical doctors, especially psychiatrists are now my pet peeve. For the past 6 years they have evaluated my life, made decisions for me, and also put me through hell, with their magic cure-all medications. My life was in shambles when someone from Narconon literally picked me up off the sidewalk."
"It all started 8 years ago," according to Susan, "I never thought when it first started, that I would have to live through the years of confusion, dilemma, and sorrow that drug addiction caused me. I had gained about 10 pounds during my first pregnancy and my doctor gave me diet pills. Since the diet pills gave me headaches he gave me darvon, and then seconal so I could sleep at night."
She was back on drugs right after her first child, and during the next few years was to have her second and third children. She says, "During the next three years I had two more children, and back problems. And the doctors had me on many different drugs. I had two back operations between the second and third pregnancy and was put on doradin, which is extremely addictive, and percadan".
From there on, she started taking more and more drugs prescribed by Doctors. "My husband was a doctor, and brought home as many drugs as I wanted. I starting seeing a psychiatrist when I went into Mass General Hospital with a gradual build-up of immunity to chlorohydrates and lost 40 pounds. I was discharged on the same drug.
My husband would bring home 500 pills at a time. I took more than was prescribed because I was addicted to them. I made up very dumb excuses for their being gone and my husband would get me more."
She continues, "We started having marital problems and went to see a marriage counselor who was a psychiatrist and who put me on sleeping pills because I was having trouble sleeping. I abused these as well. I kept hoping someone would catch on, but they never did and just kept giving me more pills. After that it was all downhill for me."
"No one cared or noticed. There was always medication in the house. Only once when I had phenobarb for migraines my husband got angry and threw them away because he saw they were affecting me. But then I developed sinusitis and the doctor gave me phenobarb again and percadan, which is a morphine derivative."
Susan's problem got worse and she started taking heavier psychiatric drugs. "The doctors never should have given me all these drugs. I used to get a large number of drugs from a Doctor at the Boston Evening Clinic. I never saw him write down my medications in any record. I sometimes had six prescriptions from him at one at once that I could get filled at different stores."
She was admitted one time to Melrose Hospital on an overdose of valium and others. She says while she was there, she developed pneumonia, but recovered. "The doctor released me with elavil, 100 funrinal, and chlorohydrates. This didn't make any sense to me at all."
It was luck, that she discovered the Narconon Drug rehabilitation program. She was walking in a drug stupor in East Boston and had fallen down. A staff member of Narconon was walking by at the time and gave her a hand getting up.
At the Narconon program, Susan went through a painless drug rehabilitation program. Narconon is a program designed to increase the person's ability to live and gain more self-determinism. It turns the decision-making back to the individual, and at the same time sponsors a totally painless withdrawal without other drugs.
Barbara Bernstein, Narconon Director East Boston, says the program works by getting the person back in communication with himself, his environment and those around him. "We hold strongly to the belief that personal integrity and respect for self and others are important factors. Susan really did it all by herself. She made all the decisions as she went along. The program works by helping the addict or alcoholic to locate and handle the source of the problem. We don't try to evaluate or give some other kind of drugs to a person. All that is unnecessary when you raise the ability of the person to handle his environment. The person is then up to the point of changing or handling the reason or situation he originally couldn't confront which led to the drug usage."
She describes her new relationship with her mother, "It's as if I just discovered I had a mother, we never used to get along when I was growing up. For the first time in my life, I am getting on very well with her."
Mrs. Smith, Susan's mother, got her miracle last week. She writes to Susan every week now, and to the Narconon staff and calls to find out how her daughter is doing and how far she's come. "Tell Sue we love her and have all the faith in the world that she can do it. She has been on drugs for so long, we will continue to pray for her and all of you. Because I consider this a miracle." Every week now since Susan's been at Narconon, her mother has had the whole congregation at Crystal City Missouri, praying for her daughter and Narconon. This week Susan's looking forward to a bright new future and has gained a new respect for herself.
Her plans for the future look much better now. She plans to stay with Narconon and help others break their habit. She wants to make others aware of the problem of drug abuse, and what is becoming a more serious problem, "legalized drug abuse". As far as she's concerned she's got a whole new life ahead.