[Congressional Record Volume 143, Number 42 (Thursday, April 10, 1997)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E635]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]



                         HON. RONALD V. DELLUMS

                             of california

                    in the house of representatives

                        Thursday, April 10, 1997

  Mr. DELLUMS. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to salute the efforts of the 
now deceased Charles Dederich, Sr., founder of Synanon, a drug 
rehabilitation organization that reformed the lives of thousands of 
people. Dederich distinguished himself in the area of drug 
rehabilitation and amassed great wealth before his organization was 
associated with violence and tax problems. Because of the continuing 
negative social impact of substance abuse in our society, it is 
appropriate to pause to reflect on the positive contribution made by 
Mr. Dederich to create a treatment regime to solve this problem at the 
individual level.
  Charles Dederich, Sr., was himself a reformed alcoholic, who founded 
Synanon in 1958 with a $33 unemployment check in Ocean Park, CA. His 
approach to rehabilitating drug addicts has became a major paradigm for 
drug recovery and therapeutic communities the world over. He believed 
that relief for addicts would come when they realized they must admit 
and face their addictions head-on. Much of the rehabilitation involved 
teaching a strong work ethic. Synanon was a new kind of group therapy; 
an effective approach to racial integration; an unusual kind of 
communication; and an exciting, fresh approach to the cultural arts and 
  His organization created a new social movement and approach to life 
that provided a structured community-type living atmosphere for 
treatment of medical problems--persons, including narcotic and other 
drug addicts, alcoholics, former criminals, and juvenile delinquents 
were all the beneficiaries. Participants in the Synanon movement moved 
from the gutters, prisons, brothels, and back rooms of society into 
positions of moral leadership and more importantly regained hope and 
control over their lives.