Sober and Together

Narconon Graduates Family

From an early age, drug use and alcoholism were a part of my life. Growing up in a family with drug use and alcoholism created stress and chaos, but this quickly became normal. As I started getting older and saw the destruction addiction was causing my loved ones; dissolution of my parents’ relationship and my father going in and out of rehab, you would think I would have steered clear of it, but at that point it was normal. It was “the way things were.”

By 15 my brother and I had been using drugs daily for a couple of years, and I was a full-blown heroin addict getting ready to go to my first rehab program. It did not work, just like it had not worked for my father the first time he went, or my brother when he went. I began to assume rehab was just a hopeless reprieve that gives someone a little bit of sober time. The chaos I was living in with my family on a day-to-day basis continued to get increasingly worse, with the only real break being one of us going to treatment. As I spiraled deeper into addiction, I started to accept the fact that my brother, my father, and myself were going to be like this forever. This was our “normal” and we would always be powerless to addiction, just like I had been told time and time again in the rehab programs I attended.

After a while, I stopped caring about the dangerous situations created by my family’s drug addiction even though things were becoming increasingly worse; legal troubles, overdoses, fights, and finding ourselves in more and more life-threatening scenarios. This led to my grandparents, aunts, and uncles becoming increasingly concerned. They didn’t know what to do anymore and after sending us to so many other rehab programs, didn’t know if there were any options left. My grandmother found a treatment program, Narconon, and after reading about the sauna program, decided to send my father there.

I didn’t know anything about the program and assumed it was just another rehab like the ones I had been too previously. Talking to my father while he was there was very interesting, He sounded excited for sobriety, happy to be sober, and said he felt good. Upon returning I almost didn’t recognize him. I was happy for him, but I continued using drugs alongside my brother. A few years later my brother’s addiction really spiraled out of control and led him to some serious trouble. My family stepped in again, and after seeing how well Narconon worked for my father, sent my brother to Narconon as well.

I’ll admit I was doubtful it would help, knowing how many programs we had been through and our shared feelings on treatment. I was really shocked to hear him talk about Narconon, and how he was feeling there. He completed his program and surprised all of us when he told our family he wanted to work in the substance abuse treatment industry after the life-changing experience he had there. I was happy for him, but ultimately brushed this off and continued to use drugs myself.

I went on with my life and found some level of stability. I would succeed at work for a while, be happy for a while, but always fell back into addiction and depression. At a certain point, I realized my alcoholism and drug use would kill me if I did not change something, and that’s when I reached out to my brother and father. They were more than happy to help me get into the Narconon program.

I went in very doubtful and skeptical but as time went on, I realized this was nothing like the other 12 steps programs I had done. No one was telling me what was wrong with me, or making me feel powerless, and I found that really empowering. I noticed substantial improvements in my attitude towards life and my future. After working through my program, I achieved so many things I didn’t think were possible. I felt like a new person, and finally understood for myself the reasons why I did the things I did. I also addressed the difficult and strained relationships with my mother, father, and brother. Most importantly I took back the responsibility for my life.

“If you would have asked me 10 years ago where we would be now, I would have thought we would all still be addicts, but Narconon truly saved us from the horrible future that addiction holds for those still trapped in it.”

If you would have asked me 10 years ago where we would be now, I would have thought we would all still be addicts, but Narconon truly saved us from the horrible future that addiction holds for those still trapped in it. When my father came to visit us recently, it was the first time we have all been together and sober since I was six years old.

I never thought we would all achieve sobriety, but I’m happy to say we have. My relationship with my family is great now that we are all living productive drug-free lives. My brother and I both work helping those with substance abuse issues, and my father has retired and volunteers his free time to speak at rehabs to help those in treatment.

—L.V., Narconon Graduate



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