CDATA[[Narconon is a scientology-related entity that runs a residential program for alcoholics and substance abusers. Narconon has been established since 1966 and its rehabilitation centres are operated world wide, including at its headquarters are in California. Narconon also provides education and prevention services plus professional training as part of its network of drug and alcohol rehabilitation.
Narconon and Science
Narconon – which stands for Narco(tics)- Non(e) – is based on L. Ron Hubbard’s book, The Fundamentals Of Thought . L.Ron Hubbard was a well known science fiction author and founder of the Church of Scientology. One of the core concepts of Scientology is the science of Dianetics which claims to be able to identify the source of self destructive behaviours. Dianetics, reportedly, can eliminate this behaviour and correlating fears, illnesses and insecurities. The American Psychiatric Association and the American Medical Association do not support the use of Dianetics or the Church of Scientology’s claims.
Narconon Rehabilitation Program
Narconon has a set program of rehabilitation that all its centres follow. These include Phase 1: Detoxification, Phase 2: Life Skills.
Phase 1 – Detoxification
Narconon’s program of detoxification involves drug-free withdrawal and vitamin and mineral supplements. This is often referred to in scientology literature as the Purification Rundown. This aspect of the program takes a number of weeks and involves sauna detoxification, doses of vitamins, vegetable oils and supplements. It is believed that during this phase a client will sweat our toxins and fatty tissue that are then replaced with healthy vegetable oils.
The sauna detoxification program uses a sauna in combination with exercise and vitamins to eliminate drug metabolites in the body. This, they believe, will stop any drug or alcohol cravings, allowing a person to recover completely in mind and body. Clients are also given large amounts of Niacin which can cause toxicity and other heath conditions if taken in incorrect amounts.
Phase 2 – Life Skills
During the Life Skills phase of the Narconon program, the mental aspects of addiction are explored and new coping skills are taught. It is believed that these life skills are found to be lacking in a person who suffers from alcoholism or drug addiction, and that they are not instinctive skills. Narconon teaches communication, study and other life skills to clients in extensive training sessions.
Narconon teaches these skills to clients in the session they call the [Communication and Perception Course].(http://www.narcononarrowhead.org/#3) It is during this session that there is co-participation in drills and practice sessions. This is said to improve interpersonal communication and increase awareness in the self and in others.
The Ups and Downs Life Course is another course that is taught as part of the Narconon rehabilitation. It is a training skills program that aims to teach a client how to identify positive and negative relationships and how to deal with them. It aims to get a client on the road to positive social relationships that will nurture their recovery.
Controversy Surrounding Narconon
There has been criticism of the Narconon Purification Rundown program by medical professionals and scientists who believe there is some risk in participating. There has been a number of reported incidents where people have had to be taken to hospital to recover from the intense and bazaar treatment. Some individuals have claimed that they now suffer from negative health conditions as a result of the Narconon detoxification program.
The sauna sweat-out detoxification program claims to eliminate drugs and alcohol from a persons body which will stop cravings and desires. Narconon believes that drug and alcohol compounds, called drug metabolites, are stored in the fatty tissue of the body which can store them for a long time. These residual chemicals will continue to have an effect on a person unless they are removed from the body. If they are not removed, a person will relapse and begin to abuse alcohol or drugs.
The sauna detoxification is a controversial program that has come under intense criticism from the medical profession. The length of sessions is questionable, with some doctors stating it is a health risk for a person to be in a sauna for up to 5 hours a day for up to 5 weeks. Scientific evidence also shows that toxins are not sweated out by the body, rather they are removed through the liver, kidneys and lungs. There are also many questions about the evidence that Narconon uses to show the effectiveness of the sauna detoxification which lacks any scientific credibility. There is also a lack of information regarding risks and side effects of the detoxification, which should be exposed.
The life skills training sessions have also come under criticism for the thinly-veiled scientology propaganda that is taught to clients. It has been claimed that the mental drills that clients are made to participate in are lifted from scientology manuals.
Outcomes of Narconon Rehabilitation Program
Narconon statistically states a success rate of 76 per cent. Research into these numbers has been shown to be incorrect, with a success rate closer to 6 per cent at the one-year point. This is coupled with a completion rate of only 23 per cent of all clients.
It is safe to say that the program might be effective at helping some clients overcome addictive behaviours. But it should be noted that the lack of scientific support or evidence and results based on anecdotal evidence alone does raise some questions about the results.
Narconon Drug Abuse Prevention Program
The Narconon Drug Abuse Prevention Program is a presentation program that is provided to high school students in the United States. Students are taught free hour long sessions about the facts of drug and alcohol addiction. But what they are taught is based in scientology science. Students are informed that drugs accumulate in body fat, called drug metabolites which will cause cravings and relapse if not removed from the body. This information is scientifically incorrect.
The program has been evaluated by the California Department of Education who has found that there has been incorrect, exaggerated and over generalised information taught in the program. This could cause confusion and fear which may discredit schools drug prevention programs as a whole.]]>