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The Narconon program is one of the pioneering programs of “manualized treatment”. The treatment method consists of 8 phases of treatment that when combined achieve full physical detoxification, self-realized root causes of the individual’s addiction and a reformed ability to identify and solve problems and change unwanted conditions for the better of his/her life. This unique program addresses as well the three main causes of relapse after treatment: physical cravings, lingering depression and/or guilt from past misconduct connected to drug or alcohol addiction.
Most drug and alcohol dependent people tend to withdraw from family, friends and loved ones. They lose their ability to communicate and relate to people around them. Addicts tend to think and focus their attention inward on problems, discomforts or self perceived emotional disabilities. Drying a person out alone doesn’t correct this situation for the users. In fact, once individuals are taken off the drugs or alcohol they can find it even harder to relate and communicate with people in their environment than when they were using. The first step to successful recovery must include a method to extrovert the addict’s attention from their past drug or alcohol related problems and teach them to be comfortable in their present treatment surroundings while at the same time improving their communication skills.
The Therapeutic Training Routines are a series of communication and exercises and drills that are done in a classroom setting. In this book, addicts learn a series of communication exercises that are drilled with another person in recovery and supervised by a trained Narconon counselor. These exercises and drills are done until each individual has accomplished a renewed ability to face and comfortably communicate with another person with eye to eye to contact. Additionally, these drills begin to help the addict exercise his ability to control his attention span and focus on the here and now rather then wandering back through drug or alcohol related memories, problems or misdeeds.
The first major barrier that one encounters when starting the rehabilitation process is the physical and mental cravings for drugs and alcohol that can overwhelm and completely distract the individual in recovery from the treatment process. Physical and mental cravings for drugs and alcohol are the most common cause for people in recovery leaving treatment before they have completed it.
There is a biophysical condition that triggers cravings that can reoccur repeatedly long after a person withdraws and dries out from drugs or alcohol. Any toxin that is ingested in the body undergoes a digestive and filtration process that will eliminate most of the toxic substance but not all of it. That portion of the toxin that remains in the system is converted into a protein based molecule called a metabolite.
Once the body has converted drugs or alcohol to these protein based molecules some of these molecules will exit the body through sweat and urine however, a portion of these metabolites will remain in the body and attach themselves to fatty cells. Fatty cells are also comprised of protein molecules and so are compatible with the drug or alcohol metabolites. This is similar to placing a large drop of oil into a bottle of water. The two elements separate, they won’t mix together. If you shake that bottle of oil and water, the oil will break up into many smaller drops of oil that spread throughout the entire bottle of water. If you slowly pour ½ the contents of the bottle out you have water with small drops of oil leaving the mouth of the bottle while the smaller oil drops that remain in the water in the bottle will begin to connect together. Eventually all the remaining oil drops left in the bottle will rejoin as one element and separate from the water again. Much the same thing happens in the body during the elimination process of drugs or alcohol that a person has ingested. Some of the metabolites leave the body through sweat and urine and some of the metabolites join to the fatty cells of the body and remain physically there.
Metabolites are like finger prints in that each metabolite contains a minute amount of the original toxin that the body digested and filtered through the liver and kidneys. A cocaine metabolite has a traceable amount of cocaine in it. A heroin metabolite has a traceable amount of heroin in it, and an alcohol metabolite has a traceable amount of alcohol in it. Each is different and identifiable from the other. It is the drug metabolites that are exiting the body through the urine that are identified when a drug screen is performed that can provide a read out on what types of drugs an individual has taken.
The drug metabolites that remain in the body act as a physical level reminder of drugs or alcohol taken in the past that can also stimulate memories or feelings related to past drug or alcohol use. This is the origin and physical mechanics of drug and alcohol cravings.
The New Life Detoxification Program addresses this physical aspect of addiction. The program consists of a combination of light aerobic exercise, sweating in a dry heat sauna and a specific vitamin regimen. A full physical and medical OK to do the program by a licensed M.D. is required before a person can begin this portion of the program. The individual will undergo 20 to 30 minutes of light aerobic exercise (usually jogging or fast walk outside or on a tread mill) ,15 to 20 minute intervals of time sweating in a dry heat sauna with rest breaks in between sweating periods. Concurrent with the exercise and sweating a specific regimen of vitamins are taken which include cold-press polyunsaturated natural oil, which help free the drug metabolites from the fatty cells. The New Life Detoxification program is designed to assist the addict’s body in breaking down and eliminating the stored drug and alcohol metabolites. The daily program runs for about 5 hours a day and can take from between 2 to 6 weeks to complete the entire process. The program length differs from individual to individual. Body weight, extent of drug taking history and medical history influence the length of this program and will program length will vary from person to person.
Once the physical cravings for drugs or alcohol have been addressed through this process the individual is ready to proceed with the next step of the program. Drug and alcohol usage tend to make one mentally dull and impair a persons ability to read, study and comprehend information. Therefore the next step of treatment is to rehabilitate the addict’s ability to comprehend and apply information they are studying.
This is a course delivered in a class room setting with a trained Narconon Supervisor. This course gives the student the ability to acquire and retain knowledge by recognizing and overcoming the barriers to study and comprehension for the purpose of applying the knowledge learned. These study principals are tools that they can use for the rest of their lives when studying any subject and are used by the person through the remainder of the Narconon program.
Drug and alcohol abuse affects an individual’s ability to focus on goals and objectives long enough to accomplish them. Addiction also greatly impairs the ability to communicate effectively and to use communication as a tool to identify and solve problems in their environment. Without focus and the ability to relate to environment addicts lose their self control. This then is followed by a lowering of self esteem and a lethargic state of mind. As a result, they tend to live in the past and to some degree disconnect mentally from the present.
The Communication and Perception Course consists of two segments. The first is another series of communication exercises and drills that further improves a person’s ability to confront tough situations and increase their understanding of, and ability to communicate. The individual learns to use communication to help and counsel another in this segment. Once the individual has accomplished this ability, he then co-counsels with another addict and guides him/her through a series of exercises. These exercises increase a person’s awareness of his/her present-time surroundings while at the same time increases self control and focus.
Both sections of the Communication and Perception Course are done in a course room setting under the direct supervision of a Narconon staff member trained in these procedures. The supervisor oversees the delivery of the exercises and is there to correct as needed each counseling session so the processes are properly completed. In addition to helping the individual regain and build their focus, self control and ability to set and achieve goals, their responsibility level is also improved through the co-counseling that occurs in this phase of the program.
By co-counseling the exercises in this section of the program addicts in recovery are helping each other improve their lives as they are working on improving their own. Addicts are generally self-centered and focused primarily on themselves ignoring others in their life. Helping another addict to begin to regain control of his/her life over addiction begins to break this pattern of behavior and install a higher level of responsibility in the individual.
With a heightened awareness of the person’s present time environment and life, a renewed ability to remain focused long enough to start and complete cycles of action and an increased level of personal responsibility, the addict in treatment is now able to clearly and rationally look into their own life and begin to identify the positive and negative influences and relationships that exist there. They then move on to the Ups and Downs in Life Course.
Part of the lifestyle that develops during the addiction process is the tendency on the part of the addict to develop some anti-social behavior. These individuals are in most cases basically good to start with. Because of the misconduct associated with drug and alcohol addiction, however, they begin to develop negative attitudes towards people they know and love and to some degree become aggressive towards the authority figures in their lives. As these negative attitudes develop addicts will pull away from the good honest people in their lives. They begin instead to associate with negative people who are usually those in favor of, or in agreement with, the lifestyle of drug or alcohol addiction. Once addicts sober up and begin to get back in touch with reality, it is important that they be able to identify social and anti-social characteristics in people and be able to differentiate from people who will support their sobriety and people who want to drag them back into the life of addiction.
The Ups and Downs in Life Course is a life skills training course that is delivered in a class room situation by a person trained in the Narconon technology that teaches an individual how to identify social and anti-social human characteristics in people. Once they learn these characteristics, they will have a workable system to identify and develop positive relationships with people who will be supportive to their continued recovery and know what type of people and relationships will jeopardize their sobriety and quality of life. During this book, there are practical exercises that are done that require the student to discontinue communication and relationships with those people that were negative influences and contributed to their addiction and past lifestyle.
Unethical behavior and repeated misconduct go part and parcel with an addicted lifestyle. Addicts become trapped in committing transgressions against people in their lives and against society at large. They get into the vicious circle of committing transgressions in an attempt to hide or continue their drug or alcohol use. This then puts them in situations where further transgressions are committed in an attempt to solve the problems that the earlier transgressions have created. As this cycle continues, these individuals begin to individuate from the people in their lives who love and care about them and may become antagonistic toward them. They hurt the people they love most and as a consequence they become ridden with guilt. This in turn makes them so uncomfortable they will use more drugs or drink in an attempt to cover up or medicate away these negative feelings.
The Personal Values and Integrity Course is delivered in a classroom setting under the supervision of a person trained in this Narconon procedure. This course teaches addicts a system that will help them alleviate the guilt that is associated with their drug or alcohol related misconduct. In this course past misdeeds are inventoried one at time in a very specific manner. This procedure helps the addicts identify transgression when they occurred, where they happened, who was involved with them at the time and the harm which resulted because of the misdeed.
Through this confessional procedure, addicts experience tremendous relief. They also become aware of the damage they are responsible for in their environment that they need to repair. This opens the door for the individual to be able to start the process of repairing these negative conditions. Once this process is completed, the individual’s integrity is restored, along with the understanding that true happiness can only be achieved through living an honest and ethical life style.
As addicts confront their misdeeds in the various areas of their lives, and the damage these actions have caused is realized, they are now ready to begin to repair relationships and situations that exist in their lives because of their addiction. This course is delivered in a course room setting and supervised by a person trained in the Narconon program technology. In this course the person is taught that there are separate compartments of one’s life that together make up the whole of an individual’s existence, (one’s self, one’s relationship with family, one’s job, living in the material world, one’s personal beliefs & spiritually etc.) This course also teaches individuals simple formulas that can be applied to any situation in life and when these formulas are correctly followed, will help the person preserve those things that are going well for him in life or repair those areas that are damaged. It is through this course that individuals develop their individual discharge plan of what actions need to be taken to ensure they can live a sober ethical lifestyle.
At this stage of treatment individuals going through the program have made significant progress towards repairing the mental and physical effects of addiction and have begun the process to repair the damage in their lives that addiction has created. They also have developed a plan of actions that they will need to follow to ensure a sober and responsible lifestyle. They are now at a point where they have to evaluate and develop some stable rules of conduct for responsible living. The last book of Narconon’s treatment series addresses this issue. It is called the Way to Happiness Course.
This is the final in the Narconon rehabilitation program. The course is delivered in a class room setting and supervised by a person trained in the Narconon program technology. This course teaches individuals 21 precepts that cover a common sense moral code of conduct that when followed will help them become productive contributing members of society by living an ethical lifestyle.
At this point the entire Narconon rehabilitation line up is complete. There is a final review step which consists of counseling that helps each graduate of the program design their individual plan of action that addresses the situations that may still exist in the person’s home environment. In addition goals are set in the areas of family, work, relationships and any other situations unique to the individual along with a specific plan of actions that will be taken to achieve these goals.
When individuals complete the entire Narconon program they have a written plan of action of which a copy is kept on file at the Narconon center. Each graduate of the program is contacted after they are released and their progress on the individual plans are assessed. Additionally if a graduate runs into problems that are distracting them from their plan a Narconon staff member will help them to resolve this or to improve the plan so progress in accomplishing these set goals is achieved.