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Do you see the car a guy driving his car down the street makes a right hand turn into his driveway there's a bicycle there and the guy explodes like a madman Martha get the bike out of the drive you want to kill the kid know it. Then once the wife responds to this by running up stairs promptly to the bathroom and coming down with 75 pills which she proceeds to jam down her husband's throat. As soon as he swallows them he's a wonderful beautiful human being who loves his children loves his wife and so on. Nowhere did she say to him be a bum. Get back in the car. Drive down to the office straighten out your problems where they start like a man. From Northeastern University National Information Network presents urban confrontation. This week on urban confrontation. Jim Germano director of marathon house and drug rehabilitation center. And Bishop Jackie Kenner and Gary Blackstone
all ecstatic. This week's program heroin addiction the long road back. Here is your host Joseph arbiter. From the ghetto to the suburbs from the poor to the wealthy and from the adolescent to the adult the heroin problem in this country as in the past few years turned around to attack every segment of American society. Today we're talking with the director and residents of one of the nation's centers for drug rehabilitation. Marathon house. What do you have here. Let's define for our audience what you set up. But this is what is referred to as a therapeutic community and it's a place where people reside for a couple of years usually the program basically is a three stage programme the first stage of which is when a person lives here and works here for about a year or so. The second stage is when he goes out to work someplace or goes to school but he makes the transition from Mother Marathon to the world and its third stage time is when he lives out works out and comes
back for participation. Whatever therapeutic program has been set up for him at that time before rising comes into Marathon house he has to make what we call investment this is where you have to call for anywhere from two weeks to three weeks she says every day consistently and this is something that's usually difficult for us a drug addict to do because he's usually a kind of guy that really has as that you have to worry doesn't care call the house on the phone right. Right this is like an investment before we accept him. We have him sit and say well we have like a prospect here for a few hours to you know more or less really make up his mind this time and then he goes into like an interview which you know is posed to white residents in the house. Say four five and this is where he's confronted about his attitude and his behavior and the only way he's really going to get in is by being honest. And this is something like as far as what I went through is something I was very foreign to me because I thought I was again pretty sharp in prematurity everything and I found out that I was very childish in a lot of ways you know like as far as say
some of our I guess measures we takers therapeutic tools or whatever you want to classify him as we have. So you help me out a great deal. Was our group encounters which we have say three nights a week for a couple hours and this is where I very easily I was completely foreign to me which was people relating about feelings. And it was something I experienced say in a community something that I was very afraid of because I was always concerned with how people are going to be looking at me while listening to other people who were around say a couple months longer than me this gave me an awful lot of encouragement as far as relating about my feelings and I started feeling a little better about myself. Where do you think the nation is going in terms of solving its drug problems rehabilitating its drug attics. Well I think that. We're making some strides. It just seems a shame that we have to make so many mistakes that have been made already in the past and why not take advantage of the knowledge that has been made available. The big emphasis now is on prevention
programs in high school and grammar school and so on. The nature of many of these prevention programs has to do with disseminating information about drugs where they come from what they look like how they taste and what they do to you. This in my way of thinking is not the way to discourage someone from using them the way that you encourage people to live differently is by sitting down talking about things like attitude and values and character and honesty and stuff like this that in my way of thinking is a prevention program. It's estimated that 90 percent of those who enter one curer side of the federal narcotics hospital of Lexington Kentucky eventually return. That's not too successful a statistic. How can the federal government spend their money better in combating the drug problem. Jim the kind of program that exists in Lexington is typical a typical program or an opportunity to participate in it twice. Jackie has been down there a couple times yourself I'm sure for the most part what you have there is an
institution that keeps people isolated. There isn't really very many meaningful relationships there and if you go there as a patient you're treated as a patient and you have to deal with the doctor and there is a barrier that exists between the two of you. Jackie do you find this to be the case could you elaborate a little bit. I have to say the same thing as Jim said like going into Lexington right away I think you going into a prison and then when you get in you find that you're in a prison hospital. They've had you know and you more or less. Free to do as you please. When I went anyway with the exception of not being able to walk out of the front door. But if fire is any communication or involvement with people or things of this nature humorless you know on your own you do what you want to do and if you feel like talking to a doctor psychiatry isto whatever you do so if not you just don't show up at the office. Jim can do some of the basic characteristics of the virus on House approach
and can trust that rehabilitation drug rehabilitation approach to the federal government's approach in Lexington Kentucky the methadone approach. Another example I think that what you'll find generally speaking is that marathon house is a rather independant organization that is not bought by some political machine and consequently we operate in this positive a way as we feel we should. Lexington and programs like it are politically expedient in their operation. Whether or not Lexington works is not the point that is considered when they talk about refunding it each year. The fact that it's there and the fact that the senators can say we have something in operation for your son Mr. constituent and stuff like this that is more important because he's interested in getting elected again. Besides you have a pretty healthy payroll down there and I'm sure there are some political debts that might be taken care of in places like Lexington. Now there have been successful efforts around the country to provide the rehabilitative service
for people but for some reason they have difficulty existing marathon houses certainly not funded in the fashion that it should be funded. It certainly doesn't have the millions to spend at Lexington as yet. If we want to compare results there's no comparison. Do you think that most drug addicts whether heroin or addicts on other drugs. Deep down inside themselves do they really want to kick that out. Well actually I haven't met a drug addict particularly a hardcore say heroin addict who is interested in stopping the use of drugs. I mean not over a consistent period of time anyway. I've known people who know one day and have stated that they were interested in stopping that soon as it gets a little tough you know. Change of mind. The kind of guy I was motivated to change is usually motivated by some kind of external force not necessarily a desire for mental health but desire to stay out of jail because he may be put on the spot where a judge will tell him to get involved in some kind of rehabilitation program or go to jail for 10 years. I think this guy is likely to
be motivated. No I think that in all honesty if you're talking about drug problems and stuff like this in the country the most serious problem is probably not in the ghetto or in the in the city area anymore but in the suburban areas the question of smoking part of using LSD and drugs like this seem to be becoming more and more socially acceptable. I think that there are certain attitudes prevalent in the country at this time that lend more and more to that. The city doesn't have the monopoly on the drug problem anymore. Not at all as a matter of fact drug use in suburbia is claiming at rather high rate whereas in the city it's certainly progressing it would not at the same rate. And yet one gets the impression from newspaper articles that the public is very amazed to hear stories of kids of 11 and 12 starting on drugs. Most of the people that I know just have my friends that started out at a young age or turned on first in the home you know by trying their parents sleeping pills or diet
pills and things like that. Which is why they could get them at such a young age with no problems. What do you think kids turn to drugs. There are certain general rules that might give us an indication I think one. As we mentioned before people are more or less conditioned to accepting the idea of using chemicals when stress arises. I think this is one reason why people might use drugs. It can make you more comfortable during times when you have a need to be more comfortable. I think the large majority of the times however people will use drugs simply because it seems to be the thing to do as far as the peer group is concerned status. Yeah. And the romance and glamour of using drugs certainly nowadays the use of drugs is recognized as a sensible thing to do. It's really a snowballing social fall. It's going to get worse before it gets any better. While I feel that it's going to be just from my observing the incoming classes in
school each class that comes in has more and more people that are using drugs and it's like a sharp difference from the sophomore class to the freshman class. First order an order for the people that are not using drugs to sort of exist to stay this will I sure will like on the weekends instead of going to the movies kids will say well let's do some mescaline instead. Why has this sneaked up on the American public so quickly. Has it become a matter of fact it commonplace to be on drugs for young people. Well I'm only talking about in college that's all I can really talk about because that's all I know about. I know it has become commonplace in college to do drugs on the weekends. What about my school yard. You know I can't speak to what's happening across the country but in our area here we seem to be very popular as far as speaking engagement requests and parent teacher groups stuff like this. We have probably four or five speaking engagements a day. And each of our facilities around here parents calling up frequently asking for advice and so on. There's been some deaths reported some very
young kids. So I would say that there's certainly a damn sight more drug use or abuse than say eighth grade seventh grade. High school then there was in the past and it's probably going to get a lot worse too. Are these kids aware of the chemical I don't like as you might put it. They're playing with. Oh yeah sure. That's why I kind of take issue to the kinds of educational programs that put charts up on the wall and diagnose the properties of each particular drug because for the most part kids know pretty much where the stuff is. I think if you're talking about prevention programs you have to talk about the kinds of programs that deal with attitudes and values and stuff because they really know what they're getting themselves into what go crashing right or you know why. I think that's probably one of the things that makes it exciting. The more it seems to be a dangerous thing to do the more glamorous it becomes. As far as your peer group is concerned the more we advertise this the more we're saying the person who does it is kind of a reckless guy. Which is what he's looking for.
I think that our school system which I have really very little respect for. When you think about it and if you have a system that teaches people how to slide things on slide rules and do geometry and all these other things and you wind up with a person who can't measure his room for wallpaper people are related to one school for the most part as objects that take up certain spaces and have certain perforations on their card and so on. The teachers do not cannot get involved with the people they have there because they're taught in school when they get their degree that you have to remain objective because if you get involved. Your decision making abilities are going to be hampered or some such nonsense. There is no character building accommodation in school. Do you know that. And ninety nine point nine percent of the schools we have in this country there's no provision for people to sit down and talk about the way they feel. And I talk about how they feel about an academic subject but how they feel about themselves how they feel about each other the kinds of confusions that they experience the kinds of inadequacies that they feel and so on. But is this the proper role for the school as it has traditionally been what we expect our families to do our
parents. I'm sure that the major responsibility falls on the parents as far as the development of character is concerned. But an educational system I think should do more than just provide academic knowledge. A large portion of a person's life is sitting in a classroom. Especially if he's going to follow through and getting an education. And it is the responsibility in my way of thinking of teachers to make statements that have to do with values and attitudes. It's a forbidden thing to do when you can't make value judgments. Stuff like this when we do it all day long anyway it's kind of silly. People are listening right now what would you tell them about what the experience had been for you. If I were going to talk to someone with the objective of dissuading him or her from drug use I don't think that I would take the route of telling him about the terrible things that happened to me in my life from bullet holes and getting my head knocked off from these kind of things but I think I would just try to stress the stupidity of it. The sort of person that uses drugs the moment he does he's saying certain things possibly I feel inadequate or I'm
not certain about my manhood. I'm confused about who I am and stuff like this you see. It's not nearly as romantic and exciting a picture as many people try to have it. I would prefer to talk about the kinds of feelings I had that I was trying to cover up by using drugs so the kid starts to get the idea that if he does use drugs he's going to be showing people just how much of an incomplete guy he feels he has. I can remember times walking around in Trenton prison with a friend of mine telling him how sharp I was. As I was locked in this place behind the concrete bars for five years I'm telling him how stupid everybody outside is because they go to work every day and they go home at night see their families of them this is the kind of situation I'm talking about really absolute best and I own behavior completely childish. Now I could be in my mid 20s and we have people that blow in here that are 30 and 40 years old who are as emotionally developed as an 8 year old. Now the type of person who wants to use drugs is advertising that he feels like an incomplete person. That's the route we ought
to take when we talk about this because that happens to be the reality. Charles Dieter the founder of seminar claims a dope fiends he calls them aren't sick or crazy they are stupid if you say he said we're fighting not addiction. We're fighting addiction to stupidity. That's what you're saying. I would agree has to do with what makes a person so stupid. People grow up as a result of experiencing stress. If you think back problems would arise you deal with the problems you learn from what happens as a result of this is on you grow up. If someone else handles your stress for you and takes care of your responsibilities to work out your problems aside from giving advice or something like this with it. If your mother is going to provide you with the resources to take care of all the things that you should take care of yourself for instance chances are you're going to grow up to be the kind of person who's completely dependent upon someone else completely mature. People have come to this place. Have been very dependant people they
have never really experienced much stress and when the time came for them to experience stress they had to look for some outside accommodation in order to deal with the drugs that was a crush of course to think of it is a good use drugs he's not dealing with this problem she's simply postponing Jim what kind of drugs were you on to during your period during my career or I used a varied assortment of drugs but I was kind of partial to heroin seem to hit the spot. Does every addict have their own little partiality of yours as Carol and I know as you mentioned and before the program speed you were on a speed that was mine. GARRETT What was yours. Well I should say I was Steve I was Harold and so is LSD the glamour the one with you know the big trip to the mass media's projection long I know generally but knows the I guess is what you most part with drugs nowadays you know you who said you know drugs. Dream So what other drugs have you experience Jim. Well I use just about everything I suppose. I haven't smoked any bananas. Did any
peanut butter or mayonnaise which seems to be talked about nowadays but used the pills and pot opiates morphine heroin stuff and when did you first start when I was 13 that was in 1953 or 4 somewhere around there. How about you want to you first pick up on drugs. Or I started using drugs from work and I was 12. JACKIE How about you. When I was about 16 and I think so then when I started using Joe 16 was about the average age. Today it's a little old. What did you start with. When did you move to the so-called hard stuff and I started using heroin when I was 16. Yes I smoked pot for a couple months. Any Attention claim that marijuana is no worse an intoxicant of the liquor their parents drink. Do you people buy that here and about the house are you feeling grass marijuana whatever is merely a preliminary step toward eventual drug addiction with the harvest of heroin.
John I would never use that as an argument. I mean as a deterrent. Where on one hand the majority of people who are in this place heroin addicts who came to this place probably started on marijuana I would not say that everyone a spokesman or a Wanna by any stretch of imagination is going to go into drugs like heroin. Well Should kids be deterred at all from smoking marijuana. You know I think there are certain realities that relate to marijuana. I frequently hear this question about whether or not marijuana is more harmful than alcohol and all this kind of stuff and actually I don't know if anyone can really answer that. You might get a biased opinion one way or the other. For the most part I would never choose to say that alcohol is less dangerous than pot is or whatever I consider marijuana smoking symptomatic behavior. There are some underlying problems with it. One of which has to do with not considering the serious reality that you could wind up in jail. How can you take a position like that so much at variance with the new law ideas that young people have you're obviously still very much a young person yourself.
Well I take that position because it's true. Simple point of view that is based on the realities that exist. Smoking pot is against the law making marijuana legal is not accomplishing anything it simply leads a group of people who have apparently some need to act out an entire social way into another area which might be more serious. You know not only marijuana but like with any drug the major difference I think in the kids that are smoking marijuana and taking LSD and using any type of drugs today compared to maybe when Jim and I started using drugs is like I never found any excuse for smoking marijuana. I never looked for or found any excuses for taking heroin. Not excuses I mean like I could never say well if I smoked marijuana you know it might make me study better or there's nothing wrong with taking heroin you know it's not going to do anything to me. When I started using heroin I
knew what I was doing was wrong. I accepted that it was wrong. I know I'm not supposed to be doing this and the only reason why I'm doing it is because this is what I wanted the kids of today have all type of reasons and tap outs and and everything for use and drugs. LSD is mind expanding speed I can stay awake longer and study out there defending the drug. Well when I started using drugs we didn't have anything to defend. I think kids are doing just that killing themselves. Sure they're getting a lot of help. They're getting a lot of help with magazines and newspaper articles and where do they get the information that LSD is mind expanding. Where do they get the information that using speed it makes me study how it isn't something I think that they thought of on their own. Maybe in the beginning but they getting things to back them up. Where would you go along would you expand a lot in what ways do magazine articles push a person toward involved with drugs. The kids of today are nothing more than children who were born of parents who
have basically the same kinds of attitudes and the same kind of ideas about life as they do. Now the thing that everyone is a wonder about is that the kids seem to have found their own method of expressing this drugs and of course because drugs are so dangerous. Parents are concerned but for the most part we are part of a society that has conditioned itself to cop out at every available turn. I mean people. Are instructed day by day on television for instance that the way to deal with stress is not to deal with it at all but to take some kind of chemical Now there are any number of commercials that pop up in your mind I'm sure. One of my favorites I'll give you an example is you see the car a guy driving his car down the street makes a right hand turn into his driveway there's a bicycle there and the guy explodes like a madman Martha get the bike out of the drive you want to kill the kid no as the martyr the wife responds to this by running upstairs promptly to the bathroom and coming down with 75 pills which she proceeds to jam down her husband's throat.
As soon as he swallows them he's a wonderful beautiful human being who loves his children loves his wife and so on. Nowhere did she say to him be a bum. Get back in the car. Drive down to the office straighten out your problems where they start like a man you see. So we have accepted this particular pattern of life because it's well profitable. For one thing it makes mental health a very easy thing to come by. Pills you know make money and the guys that sell the ads face on TV drive home a new car and stuff like this and this is the price I willing to pay so we should stop complaining about. And I think that until everybody is willing to experience a change of attitude in the own comfortability of changing their attitudes and what they're saying is for the most part I'm too afraid to get up off my rusty dusty to do some work is going to have me uncomfortable. I'm not interested in getting involved because that's much too threatening to me. I'm not really concerned with who my next door neighbor is or what he ever does and if you drop dead it's not going to bother me. I think these are the kinds of problems that cause drug addiction noninvolvement no communication between people. The
quest for material things because the more $20 bills I can stuff into my closet the the bigger me and I'm going to be is the kind of things that we teach. So we have to accept the consequences. That place has to do with drug addiction. And I want to hear the very end of the program to kick around a big question which is this how are all of us involved in the drug addiction problem. Generally we would consider the drug addicts to be a minority of the population and yet perhaps they are symptomatic of some problems that all of us have. The schools the parents the business world. How are these groups involved. Well any problems that exist in our communities are contributed to by the people that live in that particular community. Now this is a question of attitude. As long as we believe that cheating on your income tax is a sensible thing to do if you can get away with it then don't expect that our children should not grow up thinking that money is the most important thing in no matter how you get it. It really doesn't matter. Don't expect to see too many people around that
have character or a high system or standard of morals. The businessman who cheats in this fashion is making his contribution. The guy who is willing to buy hot goods to save you know the magic ingredient dollars he contributes of course the housewife who has to have Milltown or a vallium or Librium or or whatever kind of the millions of pills that are available to the NACE respectable housewife. She is also making her contribution because she's not living a very good example for children. The guy who cannot stop smoking even though he knows that it's killing him. The guy who has to have three martinis or two or one martini every day when he is finished work because this is something that he's conditioned himself to would have to reflect gall turning to a 17 year old son telling him not to smoke pot or not to do the very things that he is sending an example of. There was a time a few years ago when anyone who preached the idea that we should reform our morals become more honest was sort of looked askance at he was sort of a
do gooder a goody goody. And you think that we will be able in the last third of the 20th century to return to the ethical life or the life of good character that that will be in vogue again will be seen to be important again. Let me just say we better. One of the most important natural resources in our country are our young people. And one of the greatest threats to our young people are drugs. We've been talking with people who represent a program where the drug addict is cured by the former drug addict. Thank you very much for coming on the program. Northeastern University has brought eugène Germano director of marathon House a drug rehabilitation center. And Bishop. Kenny Langston. Jackie Kennedy and Gary Black stand on next and in. This week's program.
Heroin addiction. A long road back. The views and opinions expressed on the preceding program were not necessarily those of Northeastern University or the station. Preston's I asked where the moderators method of presenting many sides of today's topic. Your program host has been Joseph I'm data Director Department of radio productions. This week's program was produced by Jeffrey Feltman record by Robert Emmet. With technical supervision by Howard Miller. Executive producer for urban confrontation is Peter Lance. Urban confrontation is produced for the division of instructional communications at the nation's largest private university. Northeastern University. Request for a tape recorded copy of any program in this series may be addressed to urban confrontation. Northeastern University Boston Massachusetts 0 2 1 1 5. Your announcer Dave Hanna. This is the national educational radio network.
Urban Confrontation
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Northeastern University (Boston, Mass.)
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Urban Confrontation is an analysis of the continuing crises facing 20th century man in the American city, covering issues such as campus riots, assassinations, the internal disintegration of cities, and the ever-present threat of nuclear annihilation. Produced for the Office of Educational Resources at the Communications Center of the nations largest private university, Northeastern University.
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Producing Organization: Northeastern University (Boston, Mass.)
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Chicago: “Urban Confrontation; 36,” 1971-00-00, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed February 27, 2024,
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APA: Urban Confrontation; 36. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from