Advocacy for Art, as a Part of Living Drug-Free, Is Big Part of Drug Prevention Strategy
“We want to harness the Power of Art to Knock Out Drug Use in our local Community,” says Micahel Ginsburg. The violin virtuoso is a graduate of the Narconon® Program at the Arrowhead facility in Oklahoma. He recently concertized and raised funds for a new live theater in nearby Mcalester as part of its “Take Back McAlester” Campaign. Ginsburg is one of the architects of the campaign, and his own enthusiasm for the arts helped get residents excited about it.
From the Mayor to the Chamber of Commerce to local businesses and non-profit associations. Narconon Arrowhead is a major sponsor of the city’s effort to tackle a growing drug problem. “The plan,” says Ginsburg, “Is to replace the destruction of drugs with the creativity of art. The art that is manifesting in the city comes from youngsters and adults and includes all kinds from dance to photography to music, painting, writing, theatre and more. “This really resonates with me,” Ginsburg says. “Once I was hopelessly strung out on drugs, and now I am living a life free of drugs as a result of completing the Narconon Program at Narconon Arrowhead. I certainly feel privileged to give back to the community that we share.”
Ginsburg’s advocacy exemplifies an international mandate given to all Narconon Centers, according to the Executive Director of Narconon International in Los Angeles. “We have Narconon Centers in more than 40 countries, and every one of them is expected to reach out to their community and help curb the negative influence that drugs exert.”
He points out it is graduates of the Narconon program who are most behind anti-drug advocacy in the community. “It’s something that happens as a matter of course. Our graduates are on the other side of it now, but they know the horrors that await those who become addicted to drugs and alcohol. Many decide to become powerful advocates for a drug-free community.”
Ginsburg is a classic example. The young musician went from being a violin prodigy at the age of 5 to a hopeless addict by the age of 15. Here was an inspired artist. He was chosen to be first chair violin for the New England Youth Conservatory orchestra. He was invited to study under Marylou Speaker-Churchill, principal second violinist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. “Drugs totally changed the career vector he was following, and at a young age,” says the Executive Director of Narconon International. “It is a story that we have seen played out multiple times at our centers.”
Narconon International keeps a hot line open 24/7 offering a life line to artists and anyone who need immediate assistance with a drug or alcohol problem. Call 1 800-775-8750 for immediate assistance or visit www.narconon.org.