Fresh Start Programs in Harlingen, TX

Overall Rating

(3.7 of 5)
Treatment Effectiveness
Accommodations & Amenities
Meals & Nutrition
17697 ABD Road
Harlingen TX 78552

Fresh Start Programs Philosophy

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Located in Harlingen, Texas, 30 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, Fresh Start is a Narconon-based residential treatment facility designed for adults seeking treatment for chemical dependency. Narconon operates multiple facilities throughout North America, and three Fresh Start Programs in the southwest. Narconon is a non-traditional treatment model inspired by the teachings L. Ron Hubbard. Fresh Start offers non-medical detox on-site.


Upon admission, clients undergo an initial medical evaluation. Detox is a large component of Narconon’s philosophy and a major component of its treatment model. Narconon contends that drug or alcohol cravings are due to residual toxins (metabolites) left in the fatty tissue of an individual, and the treatment process focuses on using physical fitness and other means to remove these toxins.

To flush out these toxins, clients undergo a series of detoxifying sauna sessions and an exercise program. Fresh Start Programs' detoxification protocol also includes a regimen of vitamins and minerals that replace these toxins. Once individuals complete the detoxification phase of treatment, they participate in programming that consists of practical coursework designed to improve life skills.

Fresh Start Programs uses a four-component educational system. The components include Communications and Perceptions, Ups and Downs in Life, Personal Values and Integrity, and Changing Conditions in Life. Each component focuses on a different area of sober living skills. These life skills courses are designed to improve assertive communication, perception, self-awareness, healthy coping skills, mindfulness, and problem-solving skills.

The average length of Fresh Start Programs is 90 days, making the facility one of Texas’ 94 long-term, non-hospital residential treatment facilities. However, clients may extend treatment if necessary. That determination is made by the client and the facility as needed.

To provide aftercare support to graduates, clinicians remain in contact with the graduate and family for one year. Family counseling is made available to help alumni and their families maintain a sober lifestyle. Family counseling is used in 66% U.S. treatment facilities. Clients who relapse may take advantage of the facility’s relapse program, which includes six months of additional services at no cost.


There is currently no information provided by the facility regarding its treatment staff. However, many Narconon programs are largely run by graduates of the program.


The Fresh Start Program of Harlingen, Texas is set on 17 acres of land. The grounds feature ponds and rivers, and clients have access to a range of recreational and physical fitness opportunities, such as volleyball, basketball, swimming, and fitness workouts. The facility also features fountains, walking trails, and outdoor picnic areas. There are group classrooms that hold less than 10 people and are used for educational courses.

WHAT ALUMNI SAY has yet to receive alumni feedback to date. On Google, the sole alumni reviewer, Kimberly, gave the facility one out of five stars and wrote: “Stay away from Scientology!!”[1]


The sole loved one polled by at the time of this writing felt the facility excelled in some areas, but could improve in other areas. Out of five stars, the anonymous loved one gave four out of five stars to the facility for its treatment effectiveness and meals and nutrition, but only three stars for its accommodations. "Plenty of alternative activities," the loved one wrote, but added: "Staff isn't always most helpful."


There is currently no information provided on the facility's website regarding its costs. The facility has a relapse recovery program for alumni. Alumni who relapse are given six months of services for free.


Narconon is a highly controversial treatment organization. Over the years, many civil cases have been made contending that Narconon is a Scientology indoctrination in the guise of addiction recovery. In addition, multiple facilities have been sued for negligent misrepresentation and false advertising.

[1] Google Reviews

Published on December 2018

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  • Treatment Effectiveness
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Plenty of alternative activities. Staff isn't always most helpful. Not a lot of info online about center.

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