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sober manJeff was fourteen years old when he began to partake in actions that he thought were normal and socially acceptable, even expected of kids his age: drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana.  At the time Jeff was unaware of the effect that drinking and marijuana would have on his health and his future.

From Gateway Drugs to Overpowering Addiction

Jeff’s alcohol and marijuana use continued all through high school and into college.  He managed to convince himself that his life was entirely under control, and he need not worry about the problems he was suppressing with substance abuse.  Eventually, he became dissatisfied with the effects created by alcohol and marijuana and he began to experiment with more dangerous drugs like cocaine.  He even began to sell drugs to others, completely destroying what tattered remains of a relationship he had with his family.

Jeff moved out of the house he shared with his parents and dropped out of college.  Despite these sudden and dramatic changes, Jeff refused to consider that his own substance abuse was the problem.  Instead, he blamed his parents for his difficulties and failures in life and continued to use more and more dangerous drugs.  Jeff tried Ecstasy, pain medications, psychedelics and heroin.  His life, relationships and work deteriorated at an alarming rate, but still Jeff continued to abuse drugs.

There finally came a point when Jeff realized that he was unhappy with his life and that he should try to do something different.  He joined the U.S. Army, and hoped that the change in environment and expectations would automatically “fix” his substance abuse problems.  Jeff excelled in training and seemed to be on the path toward a healthier, happier life.  However, as the newness of the Army died off, Jeff returned to alcohol use and would sometimes imbibe so much that he would black out.

At the end of his basic Army training, Jeff was relocated to a base near his home town.  While many individuals would be happy to be posted so close to home, for Jeff it meant a return to a familiar environment and routine.  He began to hang out with the same people and in the same places that he had before, and not too long after that he was once again abusing drugs.  He eventually failed a random drug test and was discharged from the Armed Forces.

His repeated failures in life and in his quest to handle his problems with substance abuse had caused Jeff to consider that striving for a life without drugs was hopeless.  He managed to secure a good job with a decent income, but he also managed to re-acquire a heroin habit.  Jeff began to spend $1,000 a week on heroin, and was unable to pay his rent or basic bills as a result, and watched helplessly as his life spiraled dangerously out of control.

Jeff’s parents were desperate to save his life, and enrolled him in a Methadone clinic that was recommended by a physician.  However, Jeff failed to achieve sobriety as a result of the program and he returned to heroin, even stealing from his parents in order to support his habit.  Just when it seemed Jeff would never be able to live a normal, drug-free life, his mother found out about Narconon.

The Power of Narconon

Jeff wasn’t certain that hope was available for him, considering all his prior failures, but since he felt his future only held two bleak options: prison or death, he agreed to enroll in the Narconon program.  He knew that something would have to change if he wanted to survive beyond twenty-five years old.

Narconon was unique from the moment Jeff walked through the door.  He immediately felt comfortable and welcome, not judged or pushed along as another “addict” or “patient”.  Highly trained staff helped Jeff through withdrawals with minimal pain and discomfort, a welcome change from the unbearably painful withdrawals he had experienced when trying to withdraw on his own at home.  Through the Narconon sauna detoxification program, Jeff was able to sweat out drug residuals and finally re-experienced the joy of restful sleep, pleasurable meals and healthy energy.  For the first time in eleven years, Jeff began to feel like himself again.

In the Narconon life skills courses Jeff realized and understood why he had begun to use drugs in the first place, and how he could be responsible for his decisions and actions.  It was this simple and powerful realization that prompted Jeff to decide he would be able to maintain sobriety long into the future.  He was also able to help his younger brother, who had followed in Jeff’s dangerous footsteps, achieve his own sobriety from drugs.

Jeff graduated from Narconon and worked hard to restore his relationships with family and friends.  He is finally happy, and has done more positive things in the last two years than he had in the eleven years prior to his Narconon program.  He is grateful that he was able to take his life back from drugs, and to his parents and the Narconon staff, who never gave up on him.