Grand Opening of "Gift of Life Drug-Free Center"
The Narconon Program--A First!
Over 150 people attended the Grand Opening of the first Narconon center in Houston, Texas, on August 21st, 2004. Rev. James McLaughlin was five years into his ministry with the Ward AME Church when, as he says, "My faith was tested by the demon of drug addiction in my congregation. I looked for who could get results in this daily crisis that we like so many others are suffering through... drug abuse in our neighborhoods. I found those results in the Narconon program."
He and his wife, Cleo, went to Narconon Arrowhead in Oklahoma and took the course training them how to deliver the Narconon® First Step program--the use of vitamins and minerals and hands-on assistance to aid people fearful of coming off drugs to take that vital first step in the journey towards full recovery.
They then went about convincing their congregation to raise the funds necessary to renovate the building adjacent to the church.
Cleo McLaughlin at Grand Opening
of Narconon Houston
Rev. James McLaughlin at Grand Opening
of Narconon Houston
Why is this a "first"? Because it is the first faith-based community partner drug rehab initiative in Houston. Other local churches pitched in with volunteer work and fund-raising to make it happen. The Narconon program is working in collaboration with Rev. McLaughlin's AME Church to open the door to move families in the church's neighborhood and community to really do something about the personal suffering caused by alcohol and other drug abuse. This is part of the Narconon national campaign to back up and forward SAMHSA and the White House Faith-Based and Community Partner Initiative and its purpose to bring faith communities and rehab professionals together. One step at a time, Rev. McLaughlin is taking action to change conditions for the better. We salute him, the Elders of his congregation, and all those helping them.
City Municipal Judge, Willy Blackmon,
brought greetings from Mayor Bill White
United States Navy Captain
Reginald McKamie, Esq.
"Our communities need Narconon. They need it very badly. And I say that as a judge and a member of the judiciary, not only for the city of Houston but for all judges across the United States because we have a lot to do and a great deal of responsibility. With the great authority that we have comes great responsibility. We cannot do the job alone...."
"I just want to endorse this project. This is fantastic! This is us; this is you, taking care of the least, the last, and the lost.... I've represented many people in the court system who've had problems, but they were treated in a criminal system; and this system recognizes that they must be treated in a mental health medical system and not the criminal system. And this is why this is important. We have to divert our youth. We have to divert those that get involved with drugs from the criminal system into programs like Narconon so that they can get help and they can be productive citizens...."