The Origin of Atlanta Recovery Center
Founded in Atlanta in 2000 by a 47 year old native Atlanta businesswoman, nurse, mother and grandmother who a few years earlier who had become uncomfortably aware of a problem in her own community. She was witnessing a painful deterioration of values, morals, and education, an alarming increase in crime and violence, with soaring rates of injury, sickness and death. Upon careful examination of all these negative circumstances, she found drugs and addiction to be the common denominator. In reviewing one of hundreds of reports published by the United States Department of Justice she learned that in most major cites, including Atlanta, over 50 % of arrestees tested positive for the presence of drugs. With that information at hand, it now became necessary to find a way or program that was effective at stopping addiction. After much research and many long hours spent with professionals in the field of recovery, there was one program that stood out from the rest, with a much higher success rate and a non-traditional approach that was based on actually provable scientific research. That was a program called Narconon.
She decided to try a pilot of that program in her community. The clients that would be chosen for the Pilot program would need to be proven hard-core addicts. A local Judge was willing to allow 20 inmates that where in jail, as a result of their addiction, to participate in this evaluation. After countless hours of interviewing inmates to find the right test group, the 20 where finally chosen, and released to the custody of the program.
Local businesses in the community supported this venture by way of donations.
The inmates completed the pilot program in approximately 2 ½ months, and the results where nothing short of incredible. They where all released shortly after the program, and given specific after-care follow up programs. Most continue to do well today, supporting a 70-80% rate of success.
The decision was made at that point; the Narconon program was the program to use.
The Origin Of Narconon
The Origin Of Narconon Narconon is a network of drug and alcohol treatment facilities that are located throughout the world. They all use a two-phase approach that first addresses the biophysical by cleansing the body of impurities on a cellular level ( see Detoxification Studies…) and restoring proper neurological balance and physical health through proper nutrition and extensive vitamin therapy. Then follows a mixture of cognitive, personal abilities, and life-skill therapies, which serve to focus and successfully handle the mental and emotional issues that accompany drug addiction (see Overview of Rehabilitation…) The first Narconon was started and founded by William Benitez, an inmate at Arizona State Prison. Mr. Benitez was a heroin addict who could not seem to get off of drugs using traditional forms of treatment. After being sentenced to prison he had a realization that drug addiction had caused most of the problems in his life, including the current one. He set out to change himself through self-improvement. During his quest at self-improvement, he read lots of betterment books, one of those books titled “Fundamentals of Thought” which was a self-help book, written by a well known self-help writer (Ron Hubbard), had some basic principles that he started practicing and incorporated into his life. He found himself responding favorably to his efforts and wrote the warden asking permission to start a small drug recovery program to help others.
Officials denied permission for the following six months. Mr. Benitez’s request to start a program consisting of twenty convicted drug addicts, caused concern to officials who feared such a program might pose a security problem (such programs were rare in prisons during that decade). Officials had little reason to believe that the request of a habitual drug addict and repeatedly convicted felon would result in one of the nation’s most successful rehabilitation program for substance abusers.
Mr. Benitez persisted and finally assured officials the program was needed and would not pose a threat to the safe and orderly operation of the prison. After being allowed to start the program on a trial basis, he founded NARCONON (NARCOtics-NONe) on February 19, 1966.
After being released in 1972, Mr. Benitez set up the first public Narconon in Los Angeles.(See actual 1973 News Article) Today, Narconon has spread from that one program in Arizona State Prison to include community programs in many states and countries such as Denmark, Italy, Holland, Germany, France, Sweden, Spain, Canada, Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Columbia, Switzerland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Australia, Taiwan, Argentina, and Brazil.
Mr. Benitez did eventually return to the Arizona Prison system, however under different circumstances, by choice he accept employment as a Hearing Officer with the Arizona Department of Corrections, the same system which once kept him under lock and key.
He was a husband for 30 years as well as a father and grandfather. Mr. Benitez passed away in June of 1999.