Author Topic: Regional Addiction Prevention, Inc. (RAP, Inc.)  (Read 1690 times)

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Offline Ursus

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Regional Addiction Prevention, Inc. (RAP, Inc.)
« on: September 20, 2010, 01:05:26 PM »
From another thread in the Synanon forum, posted earlier today:
Quote from: "Shadyacres"
I graduated from what I think was the first Synanon offshoot, in '95, it was called RAP and opened in D.C. in 1970. (  http://www.rapinc.org/index.html  )  Around 1980 they started an "Afro-centric" curriculum since most of the clients by that time were African American.  In '95 I was the only white guy there, I was a D.C. resident and that is where the court sent me.  When I graduated, they gave me an African name, can't remember it now.  One of my counselors was from Synanon, one of the funniest guys I ever met, Richard Haynesworth.  Unfortunately he was run down and killed on his motorcycle on his way home after leading a marathon rap, by two inebriated teenagers in a drag race in stolen cars.  Irony.
...and posted directly thereafter:
Quote from: "Shadyacres"
Also, Daytop Village opened in '66 and Phoenix House in '67, both in NY, but I'm not sure if any of their original staff was from Synanon.  Ron Clark (founder of RAP) may have been in Synanon, can't remember.  Second Genesis, started in 1970 in Alexandria VA, might also be a logical place to look for ex-Synanon people, who would all be pretty old now in any case..
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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Offline Ursus

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Re: Regional Addiction Prevention, Inc. (RAP, Inc.)
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2010, 01:24:37 PM »
Quote from: "Shadyacres"
I graduated from what I think was the first Synanon offshoot, in '95, it was called RAP and opened in D.C. in 1970.
Mmm. Perhaps one of the first might be the more accurate term...  There have certainly been quite a number of them, even one founded as recently as roughly a year ago!  :D

Quote from: "Shadyacres"
Also, Daytop Village opened in '66 and Phoenix House in '67, both in NY, but I'm not sure if any of their original staff was from Synanon.  Ron Clark (founder of RAP) may have been in Synanon, can't remember.  Second Genesis, started in 1970 in Alexandria VA, might also be a logical place to look for ex-Synanon people, who would all be pretty old now in any case..
From what I've been able to gather, Ron Clark spent eight years in Synanon, ending his time there as one of the directors. He then joined Phoenix House in the New York metro area, also as a director. After that, as you note above, he was one of the founders of RAP, Inc. in Washington, DC.

Both Daytop Village and Phoenix House are averred to have Synanon in their lineage. One key person in common to all three of those facilities, as well as a few others, is David Deitch. You might also be interested in the thread The Narcotic Farm, where a number of future Synanonites spent time prior to joining up with Dederich in California...
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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Offline Shadyacres

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Re: Regional Addiction Prevention, Inc. (RAP, Inc.)
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2010, 06:41:45 PM »
MY RAP STORY;

In 1994 I was a 24 year old heroin addict living mostly on  my friends couches, I worked under the table doing landscaping/construction type jobs.  I had been a motorcycle courier until I broke my leg in an accident, my  bike was totaled and the several months recovery time cost me my job and my apartment.  Mostly I was just working enough to get from one day to the next.
   I had been an avid drug user since escaping from the LIFE program ( one of many offshoots of Straight Inc. ) in 1986.  In retrospect, those ‘ anti-drug ’ people were the worst people I have ever seen, so it makes sense that I would have moved in the opposite direction from the one they tried to push me in.  Of course, I got in over my head with heroin and cocaine and started spending alot of time in parts of D.C. that white boys aren’t supposed to hang out in, and I got arrested, several times.  
   So, in late summer 1994, I was arrested with 10 dimes of heroin and eventually sentenced to a one year program called RAP.  After spending four months in Lorton waiting for bed space ( nobody would put up bail, go figure ) I was transported to ADASA in downtown D.C., and from there to  RAP Inc. in Laurel, Maryland.  Where do I start?  It was Afro-centric, it was holistic, it was vegetarian.  There were drums, we celebrated Kwanzaa.  I was not nearly as upset at being the only white guy as I was that I would not be able to drink milk.  Or eat meat, or salt, or eggs, or butter.  Also, no aspirin or Tylenol, if you got a headache they gave you valerian tea. They got us up at 5 a.m. to do calisthenics.  Made us roll our jeans into tight rolls on the shelves and bounce a quarter off our mattresses.  
   Despite all this weirdness, I think RAP was an excellent example of a benign and even helpful drug program.  For one thing, the director at that time, Brother Rahman ( Richard Cooke ) did not believe in the ‘powerless’ philosophy of AA.  Treatment was almost exclusively group based but care was taken to not let anyone be abusive or self serving.  They were well aware of the possible consequences of abusing this treatment method and did a pretty good job of keeping it a healthy atmosphere.  One of the things that stood out was the diversity of thought there.  Some of the staff were Muslim, some Christian, some were Hebrew Israelite, some Atheist.  They didn’t really push anything on us, just encouraged us to find a healthy lifestyle that would work for us.
   The food sucked though, really sucked.  You might get two baked potatoes (sea salt, no butter) and some string beans.  That’s it, for dinner.  They got most of it for free from a big produce depot, we’d get what the grocery stores wouldn’t take.  Every time I got a home visit me and my escorts would clean out my dad,s egg, bacon and coffee supply (no coffee either).  It also sucked not having Tylenol, but aside from that I really approve of the holistic approach to medicine and wish that more places would explore it.
   They had a print shop called RAP Graphics, where some of us would work as unpaid labor printing T shirts all day but we didn’t mind because it was better than being in group and they would buy us real food ( Popeyes, Dominoes, etc. ).  They had also had a kind of boutique on H street N.E., but that was before my time.  
   They graduated me early, at 11 months.  I think they were pressed for space, and maybe they were tired of answering questions like “Who’s the white guy?  Why is he here?”  As I said, it was an Afro-centric program, leaning heavily on African heritage, I think they were somewhat embarrassed by my presence.  Despite this, I have to say that while I was there I felt no discrimination or scorn from the staff or the residents, with one or two rare exceptions.  On the whole they were extremely fair and open minded people.  For instance, I refused to cut my hair because it was halfway down my back, everyone else had the standard fade popular at the time, which would grow back in a few months, mine would take years.  My counselor, Richard Haynesworth, came up with a compromise and made me wear it in cornrows until I got off phase one.  I was pissed, as was the girl who had to cornrow my hair, but I got to keep it.  He didn’t have to do that.  
   I didn’t stop shooting dope until about 10 years after graduating RAP, but I think I definitely benefitted from this program, if only for the diverse education acquired from living for a year with folks I would never ordinarily come into contact with.  The main difference between RAP and LIFE was that I was an adult in RAP and as an adult I could walk out at any time.  I would have gone back to jail, but I did have the choice.  I think the ‘captive’ nature of teen groups negates any positive effect of group therapy.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »