Helping to Solve the Riddle of Drug Addiction
Helping to Solve the Riddle of Drug Addiction
Berwick-Pakenham Times - 12 Aug 1980
Where does drug addiction stem from? Why is my son failing in his grades at school? Where do they get these drugs? Don’t these kids know they are wrecking their lives?
These are just a few of the questions parents are asking themselves and their children. The drug problem in schools is growing along with your kids, not just behind closed doors any longer, but right out in your local schoolyard.
Ever wondered about groups of kids on the street after school furtively dashing down alley-ways or standing on street corners, each one with a potato chip bag in his hand?
You are looking at young drug addicts in action. The chip bag doesn’t contain chips. It conceals a tube of glue.
The reason for the chip bag? It’s less conspicuous than a plastic bag, but equally as serviceable.
It keeps the wool pulled over the eyes of parents and teachers alike. No one would question a young kid munching chips.
Some will tell you most emphatically that none of the so-called non-addictive drugs will cause addiction to heavier drugs such as heroin, morphine, cocaine or other street drugs.
This is both true and false. The lighter drugs will not cause addiction to the heavier drugs, but they can and often do lead on to the heavier drugs.
It is a rare heroin addict indeed who has not started on the lighter drugs in the very beginning.
A little known problem with drugs, including alcohol, is that a residue of the drug stays in the body for sometime after a person has stopped taking them.
An LSD trip laced with impurities and poisons such as strychnine can leave the victim hallucinating for days after the trip, if they survive it.
The hallucinations can occur at any time, often years later.
One of the most common phenomenon associated with drugs is introversion and an inability to communication.
“I just can’t seem to talk to you anymore”, is a common complaint among parents whose children have taken drugs.
What parents should know
This article on Narconon, the drug rehabilitation centre at Sassafras in Dandenongs, is addressed to parents whose children may be coming into contact with drugs via the schoolyard or the streets.
The more parents and the community at large are made aware of drugs, and the problems of addiction, the quicker the drug problem in society will be reduced.
The article explains the symptoms of drug taking and Narconon’s emergency phone number for help and advice.
The Story Of Narconon…
This is where Narconon can help. The programme at Narconon is based on several steps including withdrawal, detoxification and communication.
When an addict arrives here he goes through a period of withdrawal. This is a counselor on duty 24 hours a day to help him over any pains or problems he may be having at this time and give him essential vitamin supplements.
These vitamin supplements help to restore the addict’s body to normal functions that through the use of drugs physical deterioration has occurred, often to the extent of rotting teeth, diseased liver and kidney infections.
Drugs act as a damper on the addict’s nervous system. Take away the drug and suddenly the addict starts to feel his body again, and it can be painful.
The correct vitamins and minerals lessen the pain and so enable the withdrawal to be easier.
The detoxification step is a programme of physical exercise and time in a sauna designed to assist any drug residue out of the system.
Vitamins and minerals are also given to help bring the ex-addict’s body back to good health. Nutritional, nourishing food is a must at Narconon.
Finally, the communication course helps the ex-addict to face people again and to talk freely and normally.
The counselors at Narconon then begin helping the ex-addict back to school, or in obtaining a job.
Each Narconon student is checked by a doctor before and after he completes his programme.
Medical assistance is sought at any time during the course should it be needed.
The programme at Narconon takes several weeks.
Narconon was originally started in the Arizona State penitentiary to help cope with the drug problem in prisons. Now, Narconon centres exist in the US, New Zealand, Germany and Sweden.
The Melbourne Narconon has been open for a few months and other centres have been established in Sydney and Perth.
The staff in Melbourne work on a voluntary basis and funds are raised through cake stalls, raffles and social nights in order to keep the centre open.
Most students come to Narconon through word of mouth.
Donations of furniture, bedding, and gardening tools are taking some of the burden off the staff members to set up the centre.
Narconon Melbourne is situated on eight acres of national bushland at Sassafras and has the capacity to take eight to ten addicts at one time.
In the words of the director, Lynn Dean: “It’s a beautiful country setting and well away from the temptations of the drug addict’s normal environment.
There are many letters of thanks from grateful parents who have seen their children go downhill on drugs.
Mrs. W. writes: “Since my daughter started the Narconon programme, there has been a tremendous improvement and she has almost become as she used to be, before she left home and started on drugs.
Even the people next door said how bright she looked and it was hard to believe there was such an improvement.
She is again bright and we can talk to her again.
She is affectionate and all aggression is gone.
We are so happy and grateful to Narconon because we now have our daughter back again after six and a half years.
We had given up, but now she is back to us almost the way she was before it all started.”
The counselors at Narconon are level-headed enough to realize that a drug addict, once cured, cannot be guaranteed that he will not return to his old habits.
Drugs are always readily available to him in society, should he be once again tempted.
However, the sauna detoxification step included in the Narconon programme is an important step towards eliminating reversion.
Further, Narconon has evolved an after-care system that enables them to visit their former addicts to ensure they do not fall into the drug habit again.
Helping and counselling is available at Narconon on a 24-hour basis. There is always someone to answer the phone at any time, day or night.