Narconon Suncoast Staff Member Shares 2 Years of Success

Briana S., Narconon Graduate and Narconon Suncoast Staff Member
Briana S., Narconon Graduate and Narconon Suncoast Staff Member

Before I went to Narconon, I was desperate for help. I had hit rock bottom. The pandemic hit, there was no place to go, no one to see, and nothing to do. I couldn’t keep it together for the outside world anymore; I was hanging on by a thread as it was, until I wasn’t anymore. I totally let go of that thread, and my drinking and cocaine problem escalated very quickly. Among many other traumatic breakdowns, I finally landed myself in the ER and that’s when my family decided they had seen enough. They did all they could to try to help me; but sometimes you need professional help, just like in all areas of life. I knew I needed help too. I just couldn’t help myself at that point. I was too broken. Regardless of all the suffering, I couldn’t stop; it was the only thing making me feel better. It was by far the worst feeling in the world. If you know addiction, you already know this. If you don’t know, I pray you never do.

The thought of continuing to hurt and disappoint my family and friends was a major factor in deciding to get help. But truthfully, I did it for myself. I wanted to live! I wanted to live to be able to actually enjoy time with the people that loved me so much and to be able to love myself the way I loved them. I think this true drive and desire for change is what made me so successful through the program. I wanted it bad! How could you not? I would sometimes ask my peers, how could you want to go back to doing the things that made you so miserable, but some people are just not ready to change. I understand that, but I was not one of them, so I always encouraged others to make the most of their opportunity and a chance at a better life while they had it.

“Going through the Narconon program 2 years ago saved my life and now as I’m working for the organization, I’m saving lives too!”

Going through the Narconon program 2 years ago saved my life, and now, as I’m working for the organization, I’m saving lives too! I feel so blessed to have found Narconon, as it continues to be the most rewarding avenue of my life.

I wasn’t always like this; I knew I could live a better life if I could just get away from these demons that constantly haunted me. I was kind of a closet addict; I lived a pretty well-rounded life. From a distance, my life seemed pretty normal, but up close, my loved ones could see I was really hurting and suffering. They were the ones who found Narconon for me. And I thank God that they did. Narconon saved my life and gave me the opportunity to do what I’ve always wanted to do, help people who are suffering. I had never been to rehab before, even though I probably should have because addictions that I thought I’d beaten in the past kept coming back. So I had no idea what to expect. I was told the program was based on holistic healing, and that was all I needed to know. I wanted to be totally clear in my body and in my mind. And that’s exactly what I was able to achieve through the New Life Detox, aka the sauna.

After going through the sauna I felt renewed, stronger, clearer and more capable. I stopped feeling the lingering physical effects of 15 years of substance abuse. I felt amazing! I felt like I had a clean slate, and I was ready to tackle the next thing. The structure I was craving and was too depressed to give myself at home was enforced during this time and it set the stage for my new life ahead. I still wake up early and exercise and take vitamins, all habits I formed during this time. Which I love. I love treating my body well as it genuinely makes me happy. This was one of the things I always wanted to do but could never commit to doing or sustaining before, and it’s something that helps me stay sober still. Moving forward, I quickly realized there was still a lot of work I had to do. A big part of me was not clear yet. My mind would still wander back to terrible memories of regret; shame, hurt, guilt, disgust, and this would cause me a lot of pain and frustration. All the emotions I had been trying to escape, suppress, or hide now needed to be handled. This is where I really needed help, and I couldn’t have asked for more qualified or helpful staff than the people that helped me through what to do when those feelings came up. Not only did I learn how to deal with them, but also I learned how to take their power away. I had to face a lot of ugly things about myself through that process, but it made me so strong! And I have held onto that feeling of strength because I remind myself of those objectives often.

As a cumulative effort from Objectives and Life Skills, I realized where a lot of my pain was coming from. For some people, this may be a given, but for me, it was not a dead giveaway. I had a pretty good life, and a loving family, and after I realized some things, I had to admit some things which were equally as profound. I noticed patterns I kept repeating in life. I learned what triggered me. I learned who my friends were and that it was ok to let people go. I took responsibility for my actions and was accountable to the people who I counted on. I stood up for myself. I started to see myself. This is where I took control of myself again! I couldn’t have done those things without the help of the Narconon staff, I just couldn’t. These were deep-rooted, lifelong issues I was dealing with and working through. At the end of the program, I learned how to deal with me. They had taught me how to help myself, and I couldn’t be more grateful for those lessons. The techniques in observation and being present and confronting things I used to run and hide from are only some of the lessons I learned that I actually use every single day. After a life-changing experience like this, I was finally in a position to do what I’ve always wanted to do and help people end their suffering.

“The people at Narconon Suncoast don’t just support my sobriety they support me, my goals and ambitions, my well being, and they truly care about me and everyone there.”
Briana S., Narconon Graduate and Narconon Suncoast Staff Member

I came back to work at Narconon not only because I knew the program could save lives, and I wanted to help do that, but I also came back to work at Narconon because I wanted to continue to enhance those skills that I learned. I wanted to continue to grow from the teachings and keep them fresh in my life. Being in an environment where people support your sobriety every day is obviously ideal for a person in recovery, but I get even more than that. The people at Narconon Suncoast don’t just support my sobriety, they support me, my goals and ambitions, my well-being, and they truly care about me and everyone there. At the end of the day, we are all there as staff because we truly care and want to help. I have never felt that kind of camaraderie outside of my family. Narconon is like a second family to me, and I couldn’t be more grateful and more proud to be a part of it. I really encourage anyone looking for help or anyone who knows someone that needs help beating substance abuse once and for all to please contact Narconon Suncoast and let us help you help yourself.

—Briana S., Narconon Graduate and Narconon Suncoast Staff Member



Justin has been working in the field of addiction and recovery for over 1 year. Justin earned his Bachelors's Degree in Finance from Florida State University. Having been an addict himself, he brings real-world experience to the table when helping addicts and their families, while also offering a first-person perspective to the current drug crisis. Justin is passionate about educating the public about what’s currently going on in our society, and thankfully, offers practical solutions.