Deck the Halls Event Held at Narconon Arrowhead

Holliday firework

On the first Saturday of December, the staff and students of Narconon Arrowhead gathered for the center’s annual “Deck the Halls” Christmas party. Every year, the people who are spending their holidays at the Narconon center in Oklahoma get to spend time one afternoon putting up Christmas decorations throughout the building, a large former resort situated on the shores of scenic Eufaula Lake.

Narconon Arrowhead is situated in a beautiful building with a warm and welcoming atmosphere throughout the year, but the Deck the Halls party sees the center transformed into a lovely place to spend the holidays. At the focus of it all is a tall Christmas tree that towers in the high ceilinged lodge of the center. Though they may be away from home, the students who will be at Narconon Arrowhead over the holidays this year will not be missing out on the cheer and happiness that come with getting to see beautiful decorations and a traditional tree every day. As much fun as all this is, however, it’s not only about having a good time.

The staff at Narconon Arrowhead recognize, and know from experience over the years, that getting students busy and involved during the holidays is actually something that can aid in the process of recovery. People who have spent years addicted to drugs or alcohol tend to have their attention collapsed inward. They have been struggling every day with the cravings that drive them to keep using, and life seems to be little more than an ongoing drama over the problems that they face. The outside world diminishes in scope, and the good and bad things which are happening to other people tend to fade into obscurity. In this light, the value of getting a recovering addict involved and busy working with others can be clearly seen, and it is a wise move to incorporate this into a rehab program whenever possible.

The Deck the Halls party is not the only example of how Narconon Arrowhead does this for its students. Later in December, the center was involved two local Christmas parades, one in the small town of Eufaula and the other in the city of McAlester. The students helped to decorate the Narconon Arrowhead float, which ran in both parades with the theme “25 Years of Saving Lives in Oklahoma,” celebrating the center’s history of providing addiction treatment services in that state.

Narconon Arrowhead’s Food Pantry

Beyond the Christmas celebrations at Narconon Arrowhead, the center is also involved in activities which help to spread the goodwill and spirit of charity that go along with the holiday. One of these is the annual food pantry which the center runs in cooperation with other organizations in the community. The Narconon Arrowhead food pantry collects donations through bake sales at the center, from people in the nearby towns, and even from benefactors throughout the country who have ties to the group.

The food, household supplies, and money which are collected are then distributed to families in need, making it easier for them to give their children what they deserve during the Christmas holiday. It’s a great way to give back to the community, but again it also offers students a chance to contribute and be involved in something bigger than themselves and the problems which they were personally facing while addicted. Taking part in this type of activity helps the students to rebuild their self-esteem and sense of community, and for many, it is one of their fondest memories of their time at the center.


Sue Birkenshaw

Sue has worked in the addiction field with the Narconon network for three decades. She has developed and administered drug prevention programs worldwide and worked with numerous drug rehabilitation centers over the years. Sue is also a fine artist and painter, who enjoys traveling the world which continues to provide unlimited inspiration for her work. You can follow Sue on Twitter, or connect with her on LinkedIn.