Friday, March 14, 2008

The best decision I ever made.

"This is my story of how I changed my life and overcame addiction. I came into drugs and alcohol at an early age. I was twelve years old when I took my first drink; I’ll always remember that feeling I had. That type of mentality followed me into my teenage years. At fourteen years old I started smoking marijuana to fit in with the older crowd.

"Before I started using drugs, I was doing well, either playing sports or busy with school. The older I got, the more I was smoking marijuana. It got to the point where that wasn’t enough for me anymore, which is when I started to drink socially. At sixteen years old I began mixing the two at parties or when hanging out with my friends. I was still showing up for school and my social life had never been better, but something was different. I noticed that I was more devious to my family and friends by making excuses and lying to them about where I was going and what I was doing.

"As I got older and continued to use drugs and drink alcohol, I found myself losing interest in my goals and my desire to better myself. I became anti-social and completely oblivious to anything or anyone around me. I wasn’t getting high like I was before; the feeling would wear off in an hour so it would take more drugs to sustain my high. I started experimenting with hallucinogenic drugs like LSD and psychedelic mushrooms. This, added to what I was doing before, brought me to a new plateau of what I thought was just another high. I completely blinded myself to the cycle of drug addiction that I was creating in my life--a cycle that would almost claim my life many times.

"After graduating from high school, I was ready to go out and make things happen for myself, completely neglecting the fact of who I had become--an alcoholic and daily drug user, trying to push myself to just accomplish anything so that I could earn money to support my habit. At this period in my life, I went to college and failed out my freshman year due to poor grades. On top of drinking heavily, I began using cocaine and ecstasy at parties. I got into a bad car accident with a telephone pole while driving under the influence. I was going nowhere in life.

"At this point, my family sat me down and did an intervention. They said, ‘John, you need to get your life together. We found this place in Oklahoma called Narconon Arrowhead that can help you.’ At that point my reality was so skewed that I said, ‘Sure, if it gets me out of Lowell, Massachusetts.’

"The next day I was at Narconon® starting the first step of my program. The people at Narconon were very nice to me and helped me feel comfortable in my new environment.
"My program was not easy; in fact, it was the single hardest thing I have ever done! I rid the toxins from my body and let go of the desire to want to use drugs. Then the life skills courses gave me the tools needed to succeed in life.

"After graduating the Narconon program I made the best decision I’ve made in long time--to stay and work at Narconon Arrowhead. I now go to schools and do presentations to students about the dangers and truth about drugs. I take this very seriously because I know the power that drugs can have over the body and mind. This program gave me my life back and now I look forward to sharing my experience with younger minds."

-- John Bitinas

Narconon Arrowhead Graduate October 19th, 2006

(Story written March of 2008)

If you would like more information on Drug Education for your community please contact John at 1-800-468-6933 or email him at

If you know someone who needs help with drug or alcohol addiction or would like more
information about the Narconon Arrowhead Field Referral program please call 1-800-468-6933 and ask for DannaSue Pruett-Lafitte or Richard McNamara.

Together, we are saving lives, reuniting families, and making stronger communities
through effective drug and alcohol rehabilitation.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Over and over again I tried to stop.

There is a drug and alcohol problem within this country that rivals all the success in the world. Countless victims fall prey to its devastation every day. The death toll in this country alone is staggering as addiction can be a silent killer too those of us who suffer from addiction do so in absolute secrecy.

I remember thinking that it could never happen to me. That I, the successful wife, mother, business owner and all around good girl, would never be a drug addict. I looked at those who did suffer with a critical eye and often times wondered "why" and quietly whispered "that will never be me". I was wrong!

My name is Holly Conklin and throughout my life I have been many things, not the least of which was a drug addict. I never thought that in my 30’s I would fight the battle of a lifetime and struggle with a debilitating addiction to drugs. What I didn’t realize is that I had been struggling with it for years. You see, even the most successful people can and do suffer from addiction. Most addicts are amazingly adept at hiding the problem, that is, until it takes over your life and rips it to shreds, leaving in its wake the devastating destruction that is your life. Addiction affects mothers, fathers, children, siblings, parents and countless others who only want to see you survive.

As addicts, we have an innate desire for sobriety. So many times it is just outside our reach and even though we try, overcoming a serious addiction in a world so geared towards drugs can elude us for years. Outsiders looking in on our lives, astonished by what we have become scratch their heads in wonder. And we don’t even see it coming. Methamphetamine is one of the most difficult drugs to overcome and in combination with other drugs getting your life back seems impossible.
I was addicted to Methamphetamine. I lost my marriage, my children, my business, my freedom and nearly my life. Over and over again I tried to stop. Even with support of family and friends, doing it alone is not an option. Most treatment centers totally defeat a person on the way in the door with statements like "once and addict, always an addict", "you’re powerless over your addiction" and "this will be a struggle for the rest of your life, take it one day at a time." I didn’t want to be an addict anymore.

I consider myself very lucky. I have a family that loves me. I have an older brother who was not willing to give up on me. I have children who needed their mother and parents who were willing to try again after so many failed attempts.

My brother contacted a woman by the name of Dena Boman at Narconon Arrowhead. She explained the life cycle and mechanics of addiction so that he could understand what was happening to me and explain it to my parents. She told him that the program was such that I could complete it and return to a normal life. She told him that I didn’t have to struggle with addiction anymore. That I could be saved. And even though my family had their doubts, they decided that I was worth saving. They decided to try yet again to save the girl who was hidden behind a wall of severe addiction.

Dena Boman knew that she was saving my life. She knew that I could be successful. She doesn’t see an addict when she looks at people who are addicted. I struggle for words that can adequately describe what happened to me through that program. Simply put, my life has changed so drastically I sometimes wake up in shock at the happiness and satisfaction that I feel. People who meet my children are astonished at the relationship we have. You can see in their faces how proud of me they are. It’s amazing how they don’t hold my addiction against me. They brag about what I have overcome. They have become crusaders for kids who suffer like they did. They offer my help to anyone who needs it. My life with them that was so ruined by drugs is now the most amazing experience I could ever imagine. I didn’t think I could ever live a life without drugs. I was wrong. That program saved my life and, in essence, theirs.

After completing the program I became a counselor and work to help save the lives of others. Yes, I am that girl. I have no fear of addiction. About a year and a half ago, I became an Intervention Specialist. I have dedicated my life to helping people who can’t see their way out get the help they need. I offer my hand as someone who has been through the most difficult time and say "let me help you." And they do. In 2006 I opened my own intervention company called Angel Intervention and I have been able to assist over 100 people in getting their loved ones into Narconon Centers around the world.

I hope you will let us help you. You can contact the Narconon Arrowhead Program at (800) 468-6933 and speak with a counselor. The person that you love can have a healthy, happy, productive life. I know, because I have been that person.

Holly Conklin
Narconon Arrowhead Graduate January 5, 2005
Story written March 2008

If you know someone who needs help with drug or alcohol addiction or would like more
information about the Narconon Arrowhead Field Referral program please call 1-800-468-6933 and ask for DannaSue Pruett-Lafitte or Richard McNamara.

Together, we are saving lives, reuniting families, and making stronger communities through effective drug and alcohol rehabilitation.