Narconon Arrowhead Celebrates Worldwide Anniversary

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The largest drug rehabilitation and education program in the international Narconon network helps celebrate 40 years of saving lives from the ravages of drugs.

On February 19, 1966, a heroin addict named William Benitez started the first NARCONON program to help himself and others get off drugs inside the walls of Arizona State Prison. At the time Benitez had no idea that it would be so successful and grow into an international network of 135 centers and groups in 40 countries.

The basis for the program came from a book that Benitez found in the prison library written by American author and humanitarian L. Ron Hubbard. What attracted to him was that there were methods and practical application to help develop a person’s abilities and that can be used to overcome addiction. Benitez felt this viewpoint offered a radically new and hopefully more effective approach toward recovery from drugs. He wrote Mr. Hubbard from jail requesting assistance.

After his release, Benitez set up the first residential Narconon center in Los Angeles in 1971. The program continued to blossom because people were actually getting off and staying off drugs. In 1989 a Narconon drug rehabilitation and education center was opened in Oklahoma. While it was new and different, the program proved to be successful and soon grew to be the largest addiction treatment center in the state, gaining recognition from the prestigious Rehabilitation Accreditation Commission.

In 2001, after having expanded beyond capacity, Narconon moved its program to Arrowhead State Park in Canadian, Oklahoma, and the new Narconon Arrowhead became one of the largest and most successful drug rehab programs in the world.

The Narconon combination of drug-free withdrawal, sauna detoxification and a series of educational courses addressing learning skills, ethics, self control, and how to change conditions for the better, are what make the program so unique and successful. Numerous case studies and other long-term evaluations have shown that approximately 70 percent of Narconon drug rehabilitation program graduates remain drug-free after two years or longer.

Over the years, Narconon Arrowhead has been a significant contributor to the thousands of people completing the Narconon program and now living drug-free lives. Arrowhead staff members also reach out and help educate tens of thousands of students across the country about the true dangers of drugs as well as millions of listeners and readers online, in the print media and on radio through educational interviews.

From one man in one tiny cell in Arizona 40 years ago, the Narconon Drug Education and Rehabilitation Program has grown into a worldwide network helping thousands of people each day, and according to the President of Narconon International Clark Carr, “More centers will open next month, and the month after that,” indicating that it will continue to grow.

For more information about the program or to get help for a loved one in need, contact Narconon Arrowhead at or call 1-800-468-6933.

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