Narconon Program Opens in Dorchester

Narconon Program Opens in Dorchester

The Bay State Banner

April 12, 1973

‘Narconon’ program opens in Dorchester’

by Pamela Cross

“The inability to communicate with others can cause many problems, and sometimes those problems lead to drugs,” says Deac Finn, New England Regional Director of the Narconon Drug Prevention and Rehabilitation Program.

Narconon opened its first Massachusetts program at the Pilgrim Church, 540 Columbia rd., Dorchester, in January.

The program was originally founded in the Arizona State Prison in 1966. Within six years, it has moved outside of prison walls and into communities across the United States and throughout the world.

“There is a heavy need for both prevention and rehabilitation programs.” says Finn, “however, our program in Dorchester will deal mainly with prevention.”

A recent study by the Black Student Union of Boston revealed that 85 per cent of Boston high school students have tried some kind of drugs, and 15 per cent have used heroin.

“The student union study is one reason we opened in Dorchester,” notes Finn, “but the biggest reason is that most people just aren’t aware that the drug problem is as big as it is.”

“The main part of our rehabilitation program is the communication courses we offer,” he continued. “The courses are designed to increase a person’s ability to communicate with others, based on the thinking that if people can communicate perhaps they won’t have to turn to some outside form of stimulus.”

Finn says “most of the people who come to us are people we have recruited right off the street: we’ve gotten only a couple of referrals.

“None of the Narconon programs use methadone as part of the rehabilitation process,” notes Finn, “because we think there is no point in substituting one drug for another.”

The Dorchester branch of Narconon will be incorporated and accredited by the state of Massachusetts In a couple of months, he says. “Presently, we are operating as a chapter of the national Narconon program, which is accredited in California. “All of our programs, including the one here In Dorchester, use psychologists and people who have a background in social work and counseling.

Currently, there are 20 people enrolled in the Dorchester program, and Finn says that “70 per cent of these people are of high school age. The problem definitely starts mainly in this age bracket. If we can capably handle these kids, the drug problem in the future can be greatly reduced.”

Narconon will hold an open house on Saturday, April 14 at 2 pm, so that the public may learn more about the program.

Guest speaker will be Jim Lisi, a graduate from the first program at Arizona State prison. There will also be music, dancing and refreshments.

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