How Sauna Helped Me Recover from Addiction

BL — Narconon New Life Retreat Graduate

I grew up in a middle-class neighborhood in New Orleans. My dad was a construction worker and my mom was a substitute teacher. My sister and I were latchkey kids and my sister would take care of me when we got home for a few hours until my mom returned from work. My mom would make us dinner and we didn’t see my dad much because he was always working to support the family.

I had a family member I grew up around who struggled with drug use. I was really close to him and when I was seven, he talked about selling drugs. I looked up to him, so this glamorized drugs for me. When I was twelve, I started smoking weed in public school with my friends. I got into skateboarding, and over time my skate crew and I started experimenting with other drugs. By the time I was thirteen, I started using pain pills, and at sixteen I would steal my parents’ pain pills to fuel the habit I had developed. That year, I got arrested for possession and that was the first time I ever got involved with the law.

Over the next several years, I would have multiple run-ins with the law due to my drug use. When I turned 21, I tried heroin for the first time and fell in love with it. I tried going to treatment but ended up relapsing. The treatment center I went to was pretty rough and the 12-step program didn’t really do much for me. I ran into the problem that I didn’t believe in God which made me feel like the program wouldn’t work for me since everything seemed to be based on me having a higher power.

I started using again almost immediately after leaving that program. I spent the next two years trying to stay away from heroin on my own to no avail. Finally, after two years of struggling, my wife and I started looking for non 12-step programs and that’s when we found Narconon. They helped me and worked with my wife and me to get me into the program.

When I first got in, I was a mess. I weighed 140 pounds and was malnourished. I looked gaunt and felt weak and sick, but the staff helped me through the withdrawals. They got me through my cravings that drove me to want to leave and go back to my old life.

After that I started the sauna process, after about two weeks I began to feel better about everything. I felt good about myself, put on about twelve pounds and got my energy back. I started to feel like my old self again. Once I was done with sauna, I couldn’t believe the difference. I couldn’t believe how much better I felt.

I am still not done with my rehabilitation program, but my family and I are starting to repair the relationships that have been broken for years. I am starting to deal with my anger problems, and I love it here. I can’t wait to see how I progress and how I am when I finish the program.

—B.L. Narconon Student



Aaron has been writing drug education articles and documenting the success of the Narconon program for over two years.