How Substance Abuse Affects Every Aspect of a Person’s Life

Addict in the fog

As most people know, drug use does not only negatively affect the person who is using drugs, it also impacts the people who are close to that person, the groups they are a part of and the community that they live in. In the Personal Values Course, we work on getting people to realize how their substance abuse has affected every area of their life and not just themselves.

The course starts out by going over morals and values and aims to assist a person in deciding what they would like their own personal moral code to be. After this has been established, the person goes through the process of writing up all of the harmful actions that have been committed in one’s past and the secrets connected to these in order to see the different ways substance abuse has affected one’s life. This can be a rather intense yet therapeutic process.

During this portion of the course, each person will look at different areas of their life (i.e. personal, family, groups, etc.) and write up harmful acts and connected secrets on that area. By breaking things up in this manner a person is truly able to begin to see how their substance abuse has impacted not only their life but the lives of those around them. The goal of this step of the program is to assist a person in not only taking responsibility for past misdeeds, but to learn from them as well in order to avoid repeating the same mistakes in the future.

The following success stories are a collection of one student’s wins that he obtained throughout the entire process of the Personal Values Course and his own write-up. These success stories show what he felt he got out of each portion of his write-up as well as the course as a whole. When done correctly, this step of the program has the ability to generate a substantial positive change in a person by allowing them to see the far reaching ramifications and destructiveness of their old habits, especially in regards to substance abuse, in order to create healthier habits.

Happy man

Personal Life

“After I finished my first write-up of the harmful acts and the secrets connected to these in regards to my personal life, I feel a lot better and lighter getting everything off of my chest. It feels good not holding on to those bad memories anymore. I’m looking forward to the next book.”


“Wow! That was a tough write-up but it feels so good to get all of those bad actions off my shoulders regarding my family. It feels good knowing I can recognize my wrongs and put it behind me. I have a lot of damage to repair, but it’s definitely worth it to have my family back. I love them so much.”


“I just completed writing up my harmful actions of the past against groups, and I realized that I had done quite a bit of wrong to my groups and others. It felt good clearing my conscience. I look forward to moving onto society next.”


“I just finished writing up my harmful acts against the society. This write-up was tough to think about how I affected society as a whole, but once I got going, I realized I did a lot of damage to society that I didn’t realize before. Prior to this write-up, I used to think that I was just hurting myself, but after going through the first four books, I can now see I affected a lot more people, places and things than myself.”

Living Things

“I just completed the fifth write-up. I didn’t think I had done as many harmful acts against living things as I did, but they did occur. It really got me thinking of the small things that I affected. It feels good to come clean off all of my wrongs to innocent animals.”

Physical Objects

“I just completed my final write-up of harmful acts. This write-up took some thinking to realize the physical objects I have ruined, neglected or misused in my life, even prior to using. It made me realize I need to care for the small things in life in order to care for myself. Sometimes it’s as easy as just paying attention. I feel a lot lighter now after clearing my mind.”

Completion of the Personal Values Course

“I just completed the Personal Values Course which contained writing up harmful acts and secrets connected to these. This by far was the most demanding portion of the rehabilitation so far. It was tough bringing back old memories that I tried to forget or mask with drugs but today I am able to confront my problems head on and it feels amazing. It was great getting everything off of my chest. I feel so much lighter and happier now!”

Shawn L.—Narconon Colorado Student



After overcoming her own addiction in 2012 Julie went on to become certified as an addiction counselor in order to help others achieve a life of recovery. She worked in the addiction field for 8 years and now uses both her personal and professional experiences with addiction as an influence for her writing.