The history of Narconon of Georgia is a very heartwarming story. It was started in the year of 2000 by a local business woman named Mary Rieser. Mary Rieser was a local single mom who lived in Roswell GA at the time.
When Mary’s daughter was fourteen years of age they moved to Roswell GA from Chamblee. They lived right near a Waffle House and they would go to eat there from time to time. One of the teenage waitresses that worked there also went to Mary’s daughter’s school. Mary’s daughter became friends with her over time. The girl was sixteen. They would have spend the nights and do the usual things that teenage girls would do.
Girl Goes Missing
After a couple months Mary noticed that her daughter had not had her friend over for a while. She asked her daughter why and her daughter told her mom that she had not seen her friend in a while. She had not been in school either and had not been to work for a few weeks. Her daughter thought that maybe she had moved or something but was unsure of what had actual happened.
This uncertainty did not last very long however. Within a couple weeks of Mary’s concern, the girl showed up on her doorstep. She told Mary and her daughter that she had been kicked out of her home and she had no where to live. Mary felt very bad for the girl and told her that she was welcome to stay with them as long as she kept up with her studies. Mary had no idea of what was actually going on.
Mary Finds out About Crack
It soon came to light that something was going on with the girl that Mary had taken into her home. She would keep very odd hours and a couple of times Mary caught her skipping school. Mary confronted the girl and asked her what was going on. The girl admitted to Mary that she had been smoking crack and that was the actual reason that she had been kicked out of her mother’s home. The girl admitted that she had not really ever done drugs before, except for a little marijuana a few times. She said that her boyfriend had offered crack to her and she did not know what it was when she tried it. She said that she immediately became addicted and now she did not have any idea of how to stop using.
Mary Researches Addiction Treatment
Mary immediately called the girls mother and told her of the fact that her daughter was addicted to crack and asked her if she would help get her into treatment. The mother informed Mary that she knew and she did not care and she did not want anything more to do with the situation. Mary, having worked as an RN previously, then asked if the mother had insurance for the girl. The mother said that she did and Mary got the necessary information.
It just so happened that while Mary was looking for an appropriate drug treatment center for the girl, a good friend that Mary had not talked to in years, called her. When she asked her friend what he had been up to, he told her that in the twenty some odd years they had not spoken, he had become addicted to opiates and also gotten off of them. Mary asked how and he told her that he had gone to an excellent program called Narconon drug rehab. He said that he still worked there and he loved it.
Mary told him about the situation with the girl that she had taken in and asked him if he thought that the center where he had gone would be good for her also. He said yes and proceeded to help Mary make arrangements to have the girl go out to the Narconon which was located in Oklahoma.
Mary Meets Narconon
While the girl that Mary helped was at the Narconon center, Mary flew out to Oklahoma to visit her. She immediately fell in love with the center and knew that Narconon was something she had to have part in. She began flying out once a month to the Narconon in Oklahoma and began to get trained in running one.
Narconon of Georgia is Born
Meanwhile back in Atlanta, Mary came in contact with a local judge in the area through her business consulting company. One day they went to lunch and they began to discuss the drug problem in Atlanta and the alarming recidivism rate in the court room. Mary told the judge about Narconon and how well it had worked for the people she had seen go through it. The judge said he wished there was a program like that in Georgia because it really was needed. The light bulb went off above Mary’s head and she went about researching how to start a Narconon in Georgia.
The next time that Mary went to Oklahoma she met a pastor from Georgia who was going through the Narconon program for addiction. They got to talking and he told her that his family had a rehab program back in Atlanta that he wanted to incorporate some of the Narconon techniques into it when he returned. He said that Narconon was the only rehab that had ever really helped him with his crack addiction. Mary told him that she had talked to a local judge who was interested in starting a Narconon also and that maybe if they worked together they could make the dream become a reality.
When the pastor returned to Georgia, he and Mary set out to start Narconon of Georgia on a farm that his family owned. Mary and the local judge she knew had decided that they would do a pilot program with some of the people who had been convicted of drug charges in his court room. If it worked, they were going to look into getting state funding for the program and use it as an alternative sentence to incarceration for those people who had been convicted of small possession charges. They did the pilot and it worked, unfortunately they were denied funding from the state. Narconon of Georgia is now considered a private pay program, although they do still take people who have small possession charges as alternative to incarceration. Narconon of Georgia has moved to a very nice area of Atlanta where it continues to serve its community. Thank you Mary for you service to Atlanta!