2005 Narconon North America
2005 was a spectacular year of expansion for the Narconon network of drug rehabilitation and prevention centers. Worldwide, it is a very different scene than it was when William Benitez started the first drug recovery center in Los Angeles. By the end of 2005, the Narconon rehabilitation technology had been presented to medical and law enforcement professionals around the world and the Narconon drug prevention curriculum had been delivered to children speaking a dozen or more languages. In the United States, Narconon centers were delivering life-saving rehabilitation services on both coasts and at many locations in between.
Hawaii and Oklahoma:
In these two states, a truly ground-breaking project was in progress. Over the years, the Narconon drug education curriculum had evolved into an eight-part service that thoroughly informed young people of the risks they would take if they started to use drugs. To be able to show the effectiveness of this curriculum to educators and principals, experienced drug education specialists in Hawaii and Oklahoma began to document the results of the full curriculum on schoolchildren. The information was carefully recorded of student attitudes and drug use before and after the classes, and these were compared with the attitudes of students who had not yet received these classes. Ultimately, this information would be prepared as a peer-reviewed study and published for the scientific and educational communities.
In Southern California, the Friends of Narconon group was running a significant project to provide schools with drug education materials from Narconon. First, they prepared educational materials in video format directed at schoolchildren, based on the principles used in the Narconon drug education classes. Then they found sponsors who would help them donate these materials to schools who were interested in showing the videos to their students. Through this project, the Friends of Narconon was able to ensure that thousands more children heard Narconon's effective anti-drug message.
This year saw the opening of a new residential Narconon center in the panhandle of Florida. In Destin, Florida, parents of a recent Narconon graduate were so impressed with the change they saw in their son that they decided to offer this service to their community. They had sent their son to a Narconon center after several other drug rehab programs failed to give him the help he needed and after he graduated from the Narconon program, he was stably clean and sober.
The new Narconon is in a 10,000 square foot house located right on the Gulf of Mexico. Its huge swimming pool provides a way for students to cool off when they are on breaks from the sauna portion of the rehab program. The center first started with eight students and soon expanded to 14, with a waiting list of more people wanting to get started.
The medical doctor in charge of approving students to start the Narconon program refused a salary since had seen two of his partners die from drug abuse. The next plan is for the center to do further renovations so they can reach a capacity of 40 students.
Cheryl Alderman is the executive director of Narconon Florida, one of the few out-patient Narconon programs. It is perfect for those people who have no choice but to continue working their jobs while they pursue drug recovery. For part of the year, Ms. Alderman was busy helping the new Narconon center in Destin get up and running, using her experience to make sure their licenses and permits were in place, and training the new Destin executive director.
In addition, Ms. Alderman provided training for Ben Brown Wolf who was learning how to provide Narconon services at the Cheyenne River Sioux Indian Reservation. She's also been very active in the community, introducing members of the Juvenile Justice Department to the Narconon program, along with one of the Pinellas County Commissioners and some of the local judges. Ms. Alderman helped a social worker from the Florida Sheriff's Youth Ranch learn about youth drug abuse statistics and how the youth can be helped by the Narconon program.
Ms. Alderman was presented with the 2005 Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Promising Treatment award. This award comes from the Florida Department of Children and Families.