All over the US and Canada, Narconon drug and alcohol rehab centers made progress in both drug education and drug rehabilitation in 2004. They reached many more people with drug education and effective drug rehab in lots of cities and towns. Here are some of the highlights.
In Atlanta, many inner city children learned anti-drug information from the booklets, "Ten Things Your Friends May Not Know about Drugs, and "The Way to Happiness." This was part of the Red Ribbon Week observance in downtown Atlanta, where Narconon Center staff participated in the festivities. Also in Atlanta, the staff took part in activities sponsored by the Boys and Girls Clubs where students learned about improving their appearance. This event was called "Makeup Artists against Drugs," and included the presentation of drug education by Narconon staff members, as well as information about how taking drugs can spoil your appearance.
NEW YORK CITY
Narconon drug education specialists also participated in drug education lectures given at the DEA Museum and Visitors Center at Times Square in New York City. Due to their reputation for holding lively and fun interactive classes, Narconon was recommended by the New York State Demand Reduction Officer to speak to youth there. Narconon presenters conducted short, 45-minute anti-drug classes for young people who toured the Museum.
In Florida, Narconon Director Cheryl Alderman actively talked to many state and civic organizations. She also received recognitions for her successes in drug rehabilitation in the state in 2004. Narconon Florida was recognized by the Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association by being included in its handbook for the state. In August, the Director of the Substance Abuse Program Office of the Florida Department of Children and Families awarded Narconon Florida the "Best Promising Program." In June of 2004, Ms. Alderman was named President of the Florida School of Addiction Studies Alumni Board.
Narconon activities in Canada also expanded in 2004. There, in Toronto, the Ministry of Health awarded funding to the Narconon First Step group to deliver this technology to the members of "Spirit Watch," a Native American street program.
The staff of Narconon Trois-Rivieres in Quebec increased that group's service to recovering drug addicts by 25% over their 2003 delivery.
In 2003 at Narconon of Southern California, increasing demand had already caused them to expand their facilities to San Diego in 2003. But the continued increase in demand for effective drug rehab services required more expansion. Thus they opened a new facility in Rainbow Canyon in Caliente, Nevada, a few hours North of Las Vegas.
Beside this expansion, the Narconon Southern California staff and students also helped out with many local community activities, contributing their drug education efforts to those of several Christian churches and the Warner Community Resources Center. They also helped with community activities for the Sunshine Summit Volunteer Fire Department and Parent Help USA (a group that helps prevent child abuse).
In Orange County, Narconon took part in a networking event of the local Substance Abuse Prevention Network. Attending the event was actor, Johnny Lewis, who spoke about how his own mother had taught him the perils of drug abuse from the Narconon drug education materials. He said that this education helped him avoid the pitfall of drug abuse and help him be him successful in his career.
Another group of Narconon drug educators from Southern California traveled all over their own region and as far as to Idaho and Arizona to ensure young people get accurate information about the dangers of drugs. On a frosty January day in Idaho, the group spoke to more than 2,700 young people about the truth about drugs. In March, the group traveled to a small town in Arizona, delivering this anti-drug education to every student over the age of ten and all their teachers.
This group's director, Tony Bylsma, coordinated drug educators to speak to a total of more than 175 groups. These included some programs in cooperation with the Los Angeles Police Department, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office and schools, clubs, community centers, and others. One of these is called Hope Worldwide, working with underprivileged young people all over the world.
In Northern California, the Narconon NorCal spent time communicating with many local community and health officials and taught them about the effective technology used by Narconon to combat drug abuse. In addition to their community involvement, this group also expanded and delivered more service to help people recover from drug addiction. In Santa Cruz County, Narconon speakers explained the Narconon New Life Detoxification Program to the Health Services Agency Drug and Alcohol Commission. This included the Narconon NorCal medical director who spoke about the superior, long-lasting results obtained by participants of this program.
The Western United States Ladder Guys
Narconon staff and volunteers carry with them everywhere the message of how important it is to stay drug-free. One group has found a unique way to spread this vital message. In 2004, the Ladder Guys handed out more than 21,000 booklets, "Ten Things your Friends May Not Know about Drugs." The Ladder Guys are a group of volunteers who use a huge inflatable attraction called The Ladder Challenge to help educate youth and other attendees at fairs, festivals, races and other events in the Western US. The Ladder Guys have appeared in California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Colorado and Washington. People get to try their skill at climbing the slippery ladder. Whether they succeed or not, each person receives a copy of the anti-drug booklet. Their attraction admission fees help pay for the distribution of booklets to schools and businesses. At one event in 2004, the Ladder Guys appeared at an international horse jumping competition, so booklets handed out there were taken home to all corners of the globe.
In this city that had not had a Narconon center, Houston is the new location for the Narconon First Step program. This is the part of the Narconon program that anyone can administer to help to get people withdrawn off addictive drugs and more able to communicate clearly with those around them. Rev. James McLaughlin and his wife Cleo, of the African Methodist Episcopal Church were instrumental in making this happen. He and his wife trained in 2003 at Narconon Arrowhead in Oklahoma on how to deliver this service. They then established a faith-based delivery center for the First Step program in their home town with the help of other churches in the city.
Hawaii had been experiencing a methamphetamine epidemic for a few years prior to 2004, and a group called the Friends of Narconon, based in Los Angeles, decided to do something effective about it. That group received a grant to distribute the Friends of Narconon Drug Educator kits along with two anti-drug videos to every public school in Hawaii. City Councilman Mike Gabbard said, after he viewed the videos, that every school child in Hawaii must see them. The group also presented the videos to the Safe and Drug Free Schools section head from the state Department of Education. He was so impressed with them that he recommended that every Hawaiian parent watch them. And, after that positive response, the Hawaiian Department of Education invited Bobby Wiggins of Narconon International to teach Narconon drug education techniques to Hawaiian health teachers.