Narconon Is Start In Fighting Addiction

Narconon Fighting Addiction


The Arizona Daily Star

Monday, August 1, 1966

FLORENCE - The members of Narconon, all dope addicts, meet once a week at the Arizona State Prison, from 3-5 p.m. on Saturday.

The 20 addicts - ranging in age from 24 to 45 - are a “pilot group” Narconon chairman William C. Benitez says, and are being trained to both kick their own habit and then help other addicts do likewise.

Benitez’s program has already been noticed in other prisons and one of his articles in the prison newspaper was reprinted in the Minnesota Prison Mirror. Members of an AA chapter at the Washington State Prison, at Walla Walla, have expressed interest in the project.

At the moment, Benitez is not entirely satisfied with the program.

He would like more meetings, feeling one a week is not enough, even with self-study by members.

He would also like to have the program sanctioned as an “official” rehabilitation program of the prison, which has not yet been done.

Further, he would like to have the group’s sponsor, John L. Russell, a member of the maintenance staff, given some help. In addition to Narconon, he points out, Russell is also the voluntary sponsor of the prison’s AA chapter, which is divided into three groups, and as a result works “about 50” of his “free” hours each week.

Such things, Benitez admits, are in the future and so is the real success of Narconon.

Nevertheless, he says, it is a start.