What Will Your Legacy Be?

Ray and Alina, Narconon New Life Retreat

Addiction can be a very touchy subject for many families. Some parents don’t want to face the fact that their child is an addict. At times, the addict refuses to see how negatively things are going in their life. Ultimately, facing the fact you or your loved one could die at any time is terrifying. However, once someone goes into treatment, the families often feel relieved. They know their loved ones are safe, cared for, and in a place that will help them.

During my time working here at Narconon, I have seen many people come in and graduate from the program. From the moment they first arrive to the time they graduate, these individuals undergo significant transformations, making immense changes in their lives. They are prepared to return to the real world and conquer whatever life throws at them. For some who graduate from the program, they realize that they want to give back and later return to Narconon New Life Retreat as an intern and then go on to become staff so they can help others recover from addiction.

When you have recovered from addiction, looking back, you can remember the people or even just one person who played a role in changing your life. It is something you will never forget. The feeling you get knowing you were the one who played a role in changing someone else’s life—much like your own was changed—is indescribable. Working with addicts can be extremely challenging but also incredibly rewarding.

I spoke with two staff members who are also graduates of the Narconon program. They opened up about their past struggles with addiction and the legacies they are currently building. Below, I share their stories:

Photo by Troy Larson/Shutterstock.com

“I was a commercial fisherman in Alaska for almost four decades. During those years, I only cared about the party and had no thought or care for the past, present, or future. I did the Narconon program in 2015, completed my internship, and became staff as soon as I was able. Then, I started thinking of my past and the damages I caused, living in the present and doing good things to secure my future and legacy. I’m now 62 years old; I have nieces and nephews. I’m a great uncle, and I have three grandsons, all boys, who will carry on our family name and a legacy of how I transformed a life of struggle into a thriving, stable, much, much more enjoyable life. I consider this to be a great accomplishment. Then it dawned on me, through being a staff member and helping other interns, staff members, and students regain their lives and establish their legacies, that I was continuing mine. Knowing that I helped others to the best of my ability and left a positive mark on a person, that I set a student on their way to complete sobriety, was a major pay it forward even though it seemed like it was just a moment in time. I had hoped that I was helping countless families and friends, and the snowball kept rolling and creating better lives and legacies. From being a fisherman and living in my wild and crazy life, I never would’ve thought I’d be where I am today, helping others become excellent staff members and creating a sobriety legacy that will continue long after I’m gone.”

Ray C.

“Ray is the man who helped change my life. He continued his legacy with me. Coming to Narconon was one of the most difficult decisions I’ve ever made. I knew I needed help but didn’t want to admit I was wrong. I remember coming into withdrawal and being terrified and full of anxiety. I knew only one person here and had no idea what I was getting myself into. I struggled with alcohol and cocaine and knew my withdrawal wouldn’t be easy. Then I met Ray. His smile, constant dad jokes, and never-ending support helped push me to the end of the program. When I finished the program, I remembered all he had done to help me. Throughout my life, I have always wanted to have a job helping people or animals. Helping those struggling with addiction, as I did, was not the path I ever thought I’d take, but it was the right one. Just like Ray continued his legacy with me, I now have my own. Ray stood by my side as I helped others like Ray helped me.”

Alina S.

Giving back in recovery can be extremely beneficial. You may not realize the impact you are making, but it can truly change someone’s life. It’s like the saying, “Smile at everyone; you never know whose day you might change.” Working with addicts is very similar—you never know whose life you will touch most deeply.

If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, reach out for help. Here at Narconon New Life Retreat, the majority of our staff have been through the program and know what it’s like. We are here to help and work to change your life. Reach out today to start your journey on the path to sobriety.


Alina Snowden

Originally from Kentucky, Alina decided after changing her life that she wanted to help others understand the dangers of addiction and help families know what to do if their loved one is struggling. She now writes articles to spread awareness and positivity about how those with addiction problems can turn their lives around.