Monday, September 16, 2013

Narconon’s Addiction Rehab Really Work?

Does Narconon’s Addiction Rehab Really Work?

In a field in which the meetings and prayers of 12-step treatment are among the most accepted ways to help people with drug addiction, consumers have little way of knowing which rehabs are genuinely evidence-based and which simply offer faith healing masquerading as medicine.

Consequently, even Scientology-based treatment centers have been used in the criminal justice system and licensed as legitimate rehab in some states. The Narconon detox program, which is based on the beliefs of Church of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, has dozens of facilities in the U.S. and abroad. It has managed for years to get its factually inaccurate drug-education program widely adopted in California’s public schools (sample “fact:” During detox, drugs come out of the body in “colored ooze”).

Now, a new publication focusing on addiction, The Fix, takes a scathing look at Narconon Fresh Start Reviews and debunks its claims of efficacy. (Full disclosure: I write a column for The Fix.) As Mark Ebner and Walter Armstrong write, it’s hard to validate Narconon’s treatment methods or confirm its claimed success rate; it’s even difficult to determine the number of facilities Narconon runs:

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