In South Texas, where Mexican cartels recruit teens as expendable couriers to move drugs through the border towns and crime rates are among the highest in the nation, a former United States Marine stepped in to battle the drug problem.

After studying at Narconon Arrowhead, international training centre in Oklahoma, and becoming certified as an Advanced Narconon Specialist qualified in all aspects of drug prevention and rehabilitation, he established a Narconon Centre in Harlingen, Texas.

To begin making an impact on drug abuse in the area, he conducted dozens of drug education lectures in local schools, Boys and Girls Clubs and community centres, conveying to hundreds of students the harmful effects of drugs and how and why to avoid them. The presentations proved so popular and effective, a team of Narconon lecturers was formed and has delivered drug education to 24,000 students across South Texas.

Concurrently, construction began on the Narconon South Texas drug rehabilitation centre, a 24-bed residential facility set on 17 acres. The grand opening was attended by local religious leaders, Texas state representatives, a member of the United States Congress and the mayor of Harlingen, who proclaimed “Narconon South Texas Day” in honour of the centre’s service to the area.

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Nearly 200 addicts have been freed from drugs in the new facility, and the demand for the drug rehabilitation services provided at Narconon South Texas continues to grow.

To further meet the needs of the area, the Narconon group collaborated with the Harlingen Community Coalition to open the Outreach Centre, a rehab and prevention facility for at-risk youth. Housed in the former Harlingen police station, the centre provides drug rehabilitation to court-ordered enrollees and to the youth programmes run by the United States Border Patrol.

The Outreach Centre also includes a unit for youth who voluntarily walk in to the facility seeking help with addiction. Every participant completing the Outreach Centre programme has tested 100 % drug-free.

With Narconon drug education, prevention and rehabilitation a strong contributing factor, 2011 statistics showed a 26 % drop in violent crime in Harlingen from the previous year. The U.S. Border Patrol publicly acknowledged Narconon South Texas for its significant role in this achievement.