Narconon Fresh Start Educates 100,000 Kids on Dangers of Drugs

Narconon Fresh Start Drug Educator talking with students

Southern California is a center of focus in the nationwide drug epidemic. Drug trafficking organizations transport their contraband across the border with Mexico and in through the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Many drugs such as methamphetamine are even produced locally. Southern California is also home to a major force for change in the fight against drug abuse and addiction, Narconon Fresh Start.

From its headquarters in the Los Angeles area, Narconon Fresh Start operates several drug rehab centers in locations throughout Southern California as well as Nevada, Colorado and Texas. In addition to the work that they do in treating addicts, the team at Narconon Fresh Start also devotes thousands of hours per year to efforts at drug prevention education outreach activities.

Over the years, Narconon Fresh Start has made an impact on countless lives, and in 2014 alone they are on track to reach more than 100,000 young people. During Red Ribbon Week, an annual event which sees individuals and organizations throughout the country working to raise awareness of the dangers of drugs, Narconon Fresh Start made a major push forward on this line, and they were on pace to reach in excess of 10,000 students in the month of October alone.

Narconon drug education talk

The drug prevention specialists from Narconon Fresh Start have reached such a massive number of young people over the course of this year by delivering the well-known Narconon educational program in a variety of venues. These included public and private schools, police and sheriff’s departments, meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, church groups, health expos and even drug courts, a feature of the criminal justice system which offers a route to diversion rather than punishment for individuals charged with drug crimes.

They provided these programs in locations across Southern California and as well as other communities in the U.S. Tony Bylsma, a lead drug prevention specialist spoke about the work that he and his team have been doing, saying “So many of these children get most of what they know about drugs from other kids so it’s vital that someone tell them the whole truth. I see their faces change when I explain that drugs can make them slower, more stupid or even kill them. I’ve been doing this job for more than a decade so that no one has to suffer the heartbreak of addiction or the overdose death of a loved one.”

How effective is Narconon drug education?

The Narconon drug prevention talks are widely recognized as being effective at educating children about the reasons why they should avoid substance abuse. A formal study published in recent years demonstrated a reduction in drug use amongst those participating in the program. Following the talks, the educators also have the students fill out surveys to share their feedback, and they have found the following:

  • 80% of students report having learned something new
  • 90% said they could put the information to good use such as by educating their own friends and family about the dangers of drugs
  • 50% said that the education changed their attitudes and viewpoints about drugs, while nearly half of those who didn’t change their mind already thought that drugs were bad

Simply put, the Narconon drug prevention education is effective at persuading young people to avoid drugs and also to spread the word to their friends and family.

Narconon International’s President summed it up, saying “Every child we reach with our anti-drug message could mean another person who never becomes addicted. In fact, this young person could influence others around him to avoid the use of dangerous drugs. We could be saving multiple lives with each person we educate. This is an essential part of reducing the number of people who lose everything to addiction. We’re very proud of our the Narconon Fresh Start team.”


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.