Finding the Strength to Be Drug Free
I can’t believe the time has come that I can say I have finished the Narconon Program.
I remember my first day here at the center as if it were yesterday.
When I arrived in the afternoon and met the group for the first time I didn’t feel very comfortable at first and I thought to myself, “Where have I come? This is a village in the middle of nowhere.”
However, this feeling soon passed thanks to the support of all of the students and staff here and I quickly settled in and felt at home.
I still remember the first realization that I had here. It was during the “be there” drill in withdrawal and was one of the most powerful realizations I have had. I realized that I’m in control of my thoughts and just because an idea comes into your mind, it doesn’t mean you have to think about it or act upon it—you can disregard the thought if you choose to.
I passed through the Withdrawal part of the program in a few days and, thinking back now, it was great. I stabilized my sleeping pattern and my diet, I became familiar with the center and restored my body and handled the absence of vitamins and minerals that had occurred due to the effect of years of using drugs and alcohol.
The next part of the program was the New Life Detoxification and I felt the improvements in my physical condition as the days passed.
I started to feel more energetic and vital and I became more active. Every day after sauna I was doing some activity around the center, helping out wherever I could. It felt great because I felt good—I was contributing to the group and also getting closer with the other students.
“I felt great, I was full of energy and my body was in the best condition it has been in years.”
I remember that in the beginning, I was very quiet. I liked to spend time alone. I would sit in the yard every morning and look at the mountains, I wouldn’t sit with the group but little by little I became more integrated with the others. I remember how friendly everyone was and when they saw me sitting alone they would come over and talk to me and tell me to join the rest of the group.
I remember also thinking that it was strange how nice everyone was to me and I felt like they were being nice because they wanted something, I didn’t realize until later in the program that the students and staff here are just like that because the program teaches you the value of helping others and not just to think about your own wellbeing. This is something that is noticeably different between the people in the center and the people in the outside world.
After completing the detox part of the program I felt great, I was full of energy and my body was in the best condition it has been in years.
I then entered the Academy where the biggest changes happened to me. These were changes in the mind that I had not expected to happen from this program.
The first process was the Training Drills. These were powerful communication and control drills that really raise your personal abilities. The two that stand out from the rest are “Be there” and “Confront.” These two drills were extremely powerful in bringing up my level of consciousness but they also brought me into present time and gave me the ability to come face to face with anything or anyone and handle the situation comfortably.
These drills are real-life skills that can be applied at any time in day-to-day situations. They change the way I communicate with people and each drill has its own purpose. The drills taught me very important lessons: I learned to be persistent, to keep going until you reach your goal. They taught me self control—something that I have never had and it is a vital ability to have in life. They taught me discipline (the most important ability for me) and to think before you act.
“Now I am happy with the person I am, I am comfortable with myself and I’m proud of the person I have become.”
After completing the training drills I moved on to the Objectives. This was the part of the program where I saw the biggest changes in my behavior.
I really enjoyed doing the Objectives because I knew that after each one I would gain something and have some new understanding of myself or an aspect of my life.
The realizations that I had on the Objectives were unbelievable. Some of them were ideas that I had already thought about in the past but I had never applied them because they were not real to me personally. During the Objectives, however, these ideas changed, and the way that I was thinking changed.
I developed a new perception of the world, I started to see situations and ideas differently. my awareness and understanding improved significantly, my mind became more relaxed, more focused and less distracted and the most significant thing that changed for me was that I became at peace with the person that I am.
For the last few years I have been at war with myself and during my period of drug use, I started to hate the person that I had become.
I would often look at myself in the mirror and break down and cry because I couldn’t believe what was happening to my life, I couldn’t believe the things I was doing to myself and my family and I couldn’t believe how I went from having everything to having nothing.
Sometimes I would be in my room at night and not able to sleep because of these thoughts and I would kneel by the side of my bed and pray to God for the strength to overcome this—to change my life back to how it was.
“I see now that the strength is within ME.
I just had to be shown the way how to use it and
that is exactly what the Narconon program did for me.”
But I see now that the strength is within ME. I just had to be shown the way how to use it and that is exactly what the Narconon program did for me. It showed me the way to overcome my drug addiction myself. And now I am happy with the person I am, I am comfortable with myself and I’m proud of the person I have become.
The next part of the program “Overcoming Ups and Downs in Life”, showed me the ways in which people are led to drugs.
There are certain situations and people in your life that can lead you to drug use and having these destructive people around you will cause destruction to your own life.
In this book, I learned how to analyze people and see if they are good or bad to have in one’s life, and I also discovered the reason why I started using drugs in the first place—something that I had not thought about too deeply until I came to this book.
This course gave me the ability to analyze people through their words and actions and to be able to judge if they can remain in your life or not. This is very important in maintaining a drug-free life because destructive people can cause to you to fall.
The next course, “Personal Values”, is where my life changed the most in this program. Until the moment when I started this book, I still had thoughts in my mind about drugs and I had still not decided that I would remain drug-free. During this course, there was a gradual change in my mentality, and after completing this part of the program there was no doubt in my mind that I would stay drug- and alcohol-free for the rest of my life.
This book taught me about morals, ethics, honesty, and integrity and after having completed the practical part of this course I felt great relief—I confronted my past and moved on from it, and I am now in present time.
Through this course, I became more honest and little-by-little gained integrity—and that feels great because integrity is something which I have always lacked. I would not stand up for what I believed in or for the right thing. I would be swayed easily. But now I stand up for the right thing and what I believe in and there is no one that can tell me that I am wrong when I know I am right.
The final course—“Changing Conditions in Life”—is a crucial element of the program and really brings together all the things I learned here at Narconon and prepares you for the outside world. It allows you to look at any situation or area of your life and see what condition it is in and gives you the steps needed to improve that condition to the highest level.
This was important for me because by analyzing the areas of your life you see the importance of each one and also I saw how they are interlinked and how a drop in one area of life will cause the other areas to fall.
I created a plan for my future when I leave the center and now I know exactly what I need to do.
And that’s it, I am now at this moment right here and would like to take this opportunity to say thank you. Firstly, to Mr. L Ron Hubbard whose works this program is based on.
I would like to thank the staff for all of their hard work and support throughout the program and I would also like to say thank you to all the other students here. You guys have made my stay here easy. We’ve had great conversations, made some great memories and had a lot of good times.
If I could say one thing to everyone here it would be this: always support each other, be there for each other and love each other. We all came here with the same purpose—to become drug- and alcohol-free for life. It is a lot easier to achieve your goal when you work as a team. Don’t let small issues push you apart, and stick together because we all came here as individuals, but we are now part of the Narconon Balkan group.
I want to give biggest thanks to my family, without whom I wouldn’t be here today. They always supported me no matter how bad my life got and how bad my behavior. They never gave up on me and for that, I can’t ever repay them but I can give them all of my love and I will make them proud that I’m their son.
Thank you, Mum, Dad and Ana for always standing by me and never giving up hope.
K.A. — Student at Narconon Balkan
(To preserve privacy, the photo does not show an actual Narconon student or graduate.)