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The Narconon Controversy

Narconon is a secular rehabilitation program that specializes in treating the causes of drug addiction along with the addiction itself. Narconon is based on the beliefs and writings of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard and looks at the causes of drug addiction from an addict's perspective in order to effectively treat the drug addiction.

This form of treatment does not use any drugs of any type to ease the pain of withdrawal but provides drug rehabilitation, education, and prevention services. Much of Narconon's programs are presented in school classrooms using materials developed by the Narconon professionals. The materials are meant to supplement the school's existing drug prevention program.

Proponents of the Narconon program claim a 70 percent success rate with combating drug addiction compared to a 30 percent rate in most other rehabilitation programs. Hubbard claimed to have created the program after doing extensive research and studies on drug addiction causes and how to combat the disease effectively without the use of drugs.

The premise of the Narconon model states that addicts can resume normal, healthy, productive lives when they work with the skills they are given in the program. The program can be administered out-patient or at an in-patient Narconon sanctioned facility.

Generally, the Narconon program takes four to six months to work effectively. Participants are said to be going 'back to school' to become re-educated on drugs, the dangers of drug, drug addiction, and drug recovery. All of this is done without the benefit of pharmaceutical help.

Like the Scientology religion, Narconon has its opponents who say that the information that is presented isn't always scientifically sound even if the program claims it is. They say that Narconon skews information so that it supports their conclusions and doesn't give the whole picture. Some see that as a form of brain washing and see the entire venture as part of a recruitment drive for the Church of Scientology!

Narconon has, over the years, been the subject of a series of investigations and has been involved in numerous court cases, most of which have centred on its association with the controversial church. There have been allegations of corruption, of drug trafficking within Narconon facilities, and even of plagarism! Perhaps most serious of all though is the charge that the Narconon methods simply do not work, as evidenced by the grim deaths of a number of persons in Narconon facilities.

Drug addiction is a terrible scourge - nobody would want to deny this. But in the case of Narconon, many believe that the supposed cure is worse than the illness!


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