familyDebbie recalls exactly how her life was when her son Michael was struggling with drug addiction. Her every thought was absorbed in wondering whether Michael would live to see another day, and whether she herself had the strength necessary to survive another day. She felt like she was watching Michael die slowly, and though she would have willingly given her own life to save his, the truth was that she was helpless to do anything to stop the end she felt certain was coming. It was the most intense and frightening feeling she had ever experienced in her entire life.

Debbie had to come to terms with the fact that the child she had painstakingly raised was not the individual she found before her. The Michael she knew had a soft heart, he loved children, he was artistic, he had a great sense of humor and he was open and honest. This new individual, however, was terribly gaunt and emaciated and more than willing to steal from, lie to and deceive even his own mother if it led him to more drugs. Debbie found that she had to turn to counseling and medication herself in order to cope with her own life and concern over Michael’s condition, and finally she made the difficult decision and asked him to leave her home.

Michael was taken in by Debbie’s mother, but soon was lying to and stealing from her, as well as using drugs in her home. Like Debbie, she found it too physically and emotionally difficult to bear, and she too asked him to leave her home. His paternal grandparents tried to take him in, but the same thing happened, and Michael seemed to be getting progressively worse. He threatened his parents and grandparents so terribly that they ended up calling the police to protect themselves from him.

The last straw was when Michael stole a laptop that belonged to Debbie’s friend. This laptop was not only her friend’s livelihood, it contained sensitive information that could threaten his entire career if released. Michael sold the laptop for a bag of crack cocaine. Debbie purchased it back and filed a police report against her son, finally deciding that something big would have to be done.

Finding Hope

Debbie spent a long time on the internet, searching for addiction treatment options that might be able to help Michael. He had already participated in a twenty-eight day rehabilitation treatment program with some minor success for a short time, before relapsing into full addiction. Finally, Debbie came across Narconon Vista Bay and experienced some hope. She liked the idea of a holistic approach to rehabilitation treatment, as well as thorough mental, physical and emotional treatment that was not timed, but simply completed when the individual was fully recovered.

Michael spoke with a Narconon intake counselor and agreed to participate in the program. He arrived at the facility the next week, and Debbie finally experienced some peace knowing that he was safe and in good hands. She began to visit Michael after he had completed the sauna detoxification portion of his program, and she was constantly impressed by how much better he looked and sounded as time went on.

One October day, Debbie received the two greatest gifts she could’ve hoped for. Her youngest child returned safely from a seven-month tour in Iraq, just in time to watch his big brother Michael graduate from his Narconon rehabilitation program. Michael decided to stay at the facility and complete a six-month internship, helping others overcome the safe problems that he himself had faced and overcome, after which he decided to join staff at the facility.

Debbie has never seen Michael so healthy, happy and full of peace and hope. He is proud of what he has accomplished and what he has yet to accomplish, and he is making wonderful plans for his future. He is once again the child she knows and loves dearly, and she is very grateful to Narconon for helping restore him to her.

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